Wildlife charity set to double its donations in early Christmas gift

Tuesday 7th November 2017

A fundraising campaign that will double the value of donations has been launched by the county’s largest nature conservation to raise money to transform its popular visitor centre.

“Every pound we receive in donations from the public during the Big Give Christmas Challenge week will be matched by a pound from our pledgers” explained James Dennison, fundraising manager for Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.

“The Wolseley Centre is a special place for many people who come to enjoy our wildlife-friendly grounds which are free for anyone to access and explore. But after almost 15 years some things are looking tired.

“A café is long overdue and will provide somewhere for our visitors to sit and relax while still having a good chance of spotting our resident kingfishers. The new bridge and boardwalk will mean everyone can now access the riverbanks which we’ve re-engineered back to their natural state,” he added.

The plans also include better parking, toilets and a larger shop.

The Big Give Christmas Challenge is a national scheme that runs for one week starting on “Giving Tuesday” which is the first Tuesday after the retail sales phenomenon “Black Friday”. Now in its 10th year, the Big Give has raised more than £78m since it was launched in 2008.

Alex Day, director of the Big Give, said: "We know that the campaign has an incredible impact on charities: 98 per cent of participating charities last year would recommend the campaign to other organisations for good reason.

We’re very excited about being able to play a role in helping charities to find innovative ways to raise funds for their causes."
Staffordshire Wildlife Trust has already received £13,550 in pledges which will be used to “double up” donations.

The Big Give Christmas Challenge goes live at midday on 28th November and runs until midday on the 5th December. Only donations that are made on-line during this week will be doubled. To donate to Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s appeal visit www.thebiggive.org.uk and search for Wolseley Centre.The money is being raised to upgrade facilities at the Wolseley Centre near Rugeley which has welcomed over one million visitors since it opened in 2003. Plans include a new café which will feature panoramic lakeside views and works to install a new bridge and boardwalk to improve access for disabled people and parents with pushchairs.