Ferne Animal Sanctuary

Elaine Hayes, Chief Executive at Ferne Animal Sanctuary, got in touch with us to explain the impact the current pandemic is having on her charity.

DSC has been campaigning for weeks before (and will continue to do so), with other charity sector organisations, for the government to offer far more financial help during the Covid-19 pandemic than the initial £750 million package that was announced by the chancellor last week. £750 million is well short of the estimated £4.3 billion needed to ensure thousands of charities survive the pandemic.

Many charities have joined in the campaign by writing to their MPs and completing a survey from us asking how the pandemic had impacted their organisations. Elaine Hayes, CEO at Ferne Animal Sanctuary, emailed us directly to tell us about the impact on her charity and what she has done so far.

92% fall in income

Ferne Animal Sanctuary was set up at the start of World War 2 to help people who could no longer care for their animals. Since the pandemic lockdown began they have experienced a massive 92% fall in income. Yet, as with many charities now, they are experiencing a surge in demand for their services. Elaine Hayes, CEO, explains:

“I heard with utter dismay the announcement by the Chancellor last week. As an animal sanctuary we are picking up the animals that people can no longer care for as a result of coronavirus and yet we have not been considered as part of the funding package.  If we don’t take these animals they roam the streets, breeding indiscriminately and causing accidents which result in intensive care beds being filled when they are needed. We are also unique in that we take all kinds of domestic animals, not just cats and dogs as it is all animals that need help. Yes we are fundraising as hard as we can using all digital means at our disposal but we have been actively excluded from a whole range of other opportunities.” 

Elaine has written to her MP, and separately to the Charities Minister with a range of questions and ideas to help the sector.


The more evidence we can all share about the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on our organisations, and more importantly, the beneficiaries of our work, the better. If you want to share your story about the vital work you do and the challenges you are facing please email us here or post your story on social media with the hashtag #EverbodyBenefits – which you can find out more about here.

Keep an eye on our homepage and our blog posts for all the latest news in our campaign to get the financial help the sector desperately needs.

Follow us on Twitter for all announcements, top tips and updates.