Specsavers in Hull has become the first ever corporate sponsor of a four-year-old barn owl at the Wolds Way Owl Trust in South Cave.

On Friday 12 December, members of the Specsavers team in Hull went to the owl sanctuary in the Yorkshire Wolds and presented owners Ann and Peter O’Brien with a £200 cheque to sponsor Sandy, the barn owl, for a year.

The opticians team is the first ever corporate sponsor of one of the owl sanctuary’s 14 residents, and the money donated will go toward feeding, accommodating and caring for the owl for the next 12 months.

Andrea Finch, admin manager at Specsavers in Hull, commented: ‘I first heard about the Wolds Way Owl Trust when it opened just over a year ago, and, as an animal lover, I felt I had to get involved. I’ve been working on getting my beginner’s falconry qualification and the team here at Specsavers in Hull have all become very interested in getting involved, so we all decided to sponsor Sandy.

‘We’re keen to raise awareness in the local community of the work carried out at the Trust and we’ll be organising a number of activities to raise more money for the charity in the New Year.’

Sandy is captivity-bred, and was rejected by his parents before being taken in by the Wolds Way Owl Trust in South Cave, where he was hand-reared from just two weeks old.

Ann O’Brien, founder of the Wolds Way Owl Trust, added: ‘Where it’s not possible for us to release an owl back into the wild, we endeavour to provide a permanent home at the centre. Currently we’ve got 14 owls at the sanctuary, and we have plans to expand in the New Year with the construction of two new aviaries.

‘Sponsorship is a really important source of income for us, not only so we can look after the birds that we’ve got, but so that we can care for even more of our feathery friends in the future.

‘We are so grateful to Specsavers for partnering with us and helping to get more and more people interested in what we do. It would be amazing to see more of the local community get involved.’

About the Wolds Way Owl Trust

The Wolds Way Owl Trust opened in December 2013 and the building of its aviaries was privately funded by its founders, Ann and Peter O’Brien. The owl sanctuary relies on donations and support from the local community and runs an owl adoption scheme.

South Cave Falconry provides a home for the Wolds Way Owl Trust and hosts a wide range of events – from children’s birthday parties and owl handling to workshops and hawk walks to falconry lessons.

The South Cave Falconry is an approved Lantra training provider and offers the ‘Beginning Falconry Award,’ which sets a minimum standard in keeping a bird of prey and is the only Hawk Board endorsed and national award available.

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