First Open Day at Marias Animal Shelter



Bright Idea

Maria usually holds a big fundraiser each year and it usually takes place in a hall. This year, volunteer Charlotte had a great idea of holding an open day at the shelter, so that people could come and meet the animals, browse stalls, enjoy refreshments and have a go at a tombola and raffle. It would mean people could also reserve animals and give details for home checks.

As part of Charlottes college course, she set about organising the day with help from Maria and the other volunteers.

charlotte doing the raffle
Charlotte doing the raffle


The eve of the Open Day

A huge amount of preparation was involved including where to put animals for the day, where stalls would be, who would be there to help, what refreshments would be available, etc.

When all was planned and ready, the volunteers worked hard to get everything out of the back room at the shelter, sort it and set onto tables. It was a big task, as there were some massive spiders in the room! The endless boxes of books did get a bit much for Lee and me!haha

book stall
Just some of the books we turned out of the store room!


When evening came, there was still a lot to sort, but it was left for the morning. Maria and her volunteers needed to rest for the big day ahead.

The Big Day

On the morning of the open day, everyone arrived early and set about finishing all preparations. Everything was ready just in time for the gate to open to visitors at 12noon. My Mum, Hazel welcomed the first visitors and enjoyed a busy day at the front gate with people coming and going all day.

Paul & Mum
Hazel at the front gate chatting to Marias husband Paul


Most visitors made a beeline for Maria and she had a good chat with lots of lovely people.

Maria chatting to visitors
Maria chatting to visitors



The refreshments proved hugely popular and Louise in the kitchen enjoyed them too, having sneaky bites here and there!

maria & louise in the kitchen
Maria watching Louise serve the refreshments
maria in the kitchen
Maria with some of the refreshments on offer
enjoying refreshments
Visitors enjoying refreshments


The animals were well behaved, except one naughty chicken determined to escape from her temporary enclosure. Volunteer Lee had fun catching her every 5 minutes!

chicken escapologist
naughty chicken walking along the fence looking for a way to escape her temporary enclosure

We managed to rehome four guinea pigs, two chinchillas (to volunteer Jade!haha) and a hamster was reserved.

A Nice Amount Raised

It was a beautiful sunny day (poor volunteers got sunburn!) and it was nice to hear good feedback from the visitors who were surprised to find the shelter bigger than they thought and some were surprised to find it existed at all!

The day went very well and was worth all the hard work. We were very happy and grateful to raise a wonderful £900 on the day.

Thank You

A very big thank you to all the hard working volunteers that made it happen and to all the visitors who helped us enjoy the day and raise such a lovely amount for the animals. Well done Charlotte and Maria….maybe same again next year?!


Keeley x

June 1, 2013Permalink

A Fun Day of Fundraising at the MA Griggs open day for Marias Animal Shelter

A Fun Day of Fundraising at the MA Griggs open day for Marias Animal Shelter

Early Set Up

Volunteers John and Georgina were busy unloading the van when Jacqui and I arrived at Griggs in Sticker. Everyone around us in the car park was busy setting up stalls and unloading gorgeous animals, including alpacas, ponies and next to us some llamas from Llamaland. We got to work setting up the tables and fighting the wind with gaffer tape!Thank you for bringing that John!

Our tables were set up with Marias delicious preserves, a tombola, Marias handmade soaps, some books and greetings cards. It was looking lovely and the weather looked great. It was sunny with few clouds and a little wind. People began to arrive before the opening time of 10am.

John, Georgina and Jacqui at the stalls
John and Georgina behind the stall
Georgina selling books

Popular Tombola

The day went very well, with people buying up Marias preserves and a few books and cards, but the most popular money maker was the tombola. Everyone loved having a go and even us volunteers were watching expectantly to see if they had won a prize when they opened the tickets. It was a joy to see the look on the childrens faces when they won something and the adults who thought they were unlucky and never win anything!

The tombola works by all prizes having a ticket on them with the number ending in 0 or 5. All other tickets including that corresponding number are folded and put into a bucket. People then pay either 25p per ticket or £1 for 5 tickets. Most people opt for 5 tickets to have a better chance of winning. Some even bought 10 or 20 tickets! They then pick out their choice of tickets from the bucket and open them up and, if they have a ticket with the number ending in 0 or 5, they win the prize with that number on. Its a bit of fun for us to find the prize with that number on too, as we had white, blue and pink tickets to look through!

If children didn’t pick a winner, we had a tub of sweets so they could take one as a consolation prize. Sometimes they’d rather just have the sweet! I think some people became addicted to it, as they kept coming back to have another go!

Good People

We met some real lovely people during the day and it was so nice to see so many good people happily enjoying themselves. We gained a lot more support from people that had not heard of the shelter before and found some interested in taking on some rescue rabbits, which would be a great help right now with all the rabbits we have needing new homes and it has gone very quiet on the rehoming. There were also people willing to volunteer with us and some giving us tips on new ways of fundraising.

I handed out leaflets on the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund poll and asked if people could please vote for us. All of them who had a facebook account agreed to vote! Georgina was amazing and walked around the place handing these leaflets out to everyone she could, including other stall holders, to gain us more votes. Thank you, Georgina!

Georgina had her photo taken with a big friendly dog by MA Griggs staff

Llama Watching

When it went a little quiet at times throughout the day, we had a lovely view of 4 llamas to keep us occupied. There were 2 adults and 2 babies in a pen next to us and they were beautiful. One of the adults was very sweet and kept calling whenever their owner disappeared out of sight.

Llamas from Llamaland
four llamas from Llamaland
A baby llama from Llamaland

Long Day

By the afternoon, our feet and legs were aching and Jacqui very kindly queued for about 20 minutes to get us some free refreshments. Griggs gave out free food and drink, so as you’d imagine it was a pretty big queue! We had fun, but were glad to start packing up at about 3.50pm. It was much quicker loading up the van than unloading and then we were off.

Thank You For A Brilliant Day

Thank you to everyone who came and supported us, you helped us to raise £280 for the animals at the shelter. Thank you to Jacqui, John and Georgina for your help and for making the day fun. We had a brilliant day in the beautiful autumn sunshine, Thank you MA Griggs and well done!

Keeley x

October 3, 2012Permalink