Charities of the Year 2020 - Monkey Haven & Daisy Chains IW

This year our Charity of the Year programme is a bit different to normal – as we have two of them!

Monkey Haven (LEAF Foundation) and Daisy Chains IW are both incredibly hard-working Isle of Wight charities, who have found themselves in need of urgent fundraising during the Covid-19 situation. They were both runners-up in our original Charity of the Year vote, until the eventual winners (the Isle of Wight Independent Lifeboats) gifted their status for 2020 to them, recognising their greater need during the pandemic.

Any customers making a booking with us between now and the end of 2020 will be able to make a joint donation at checkout to these two fantastic charities.

A bit more about our charities...

Monkey Haven (LEAF Foundation)

Monkey Haven is a Primate Rescue Centre on the Isle of Wight caring for creatures in crisis. The animal sanctuary is an award-winning attraction, but sadly due to the coronavirus pandemic, it has been shut throughout their peak season. Founder Don Walser says: “This has put such a strain on our charity and we’re at breaking point. Income from admissions is our main source of revenue, but in March, it dropped to zero overnight. Meanwhile our bills keep mounting up, for medicines, operations, and specialist foods, because we can’t compromise on the animals’ welfare. It’s such a struggle to keep going but we owe it to these gorgeous creatures, who have been through so much already.”

Monkey Haven (funded by the Leaf Foundation), provides a loving home for rescued monkeys, gibbons, meerkats, reptiles, owls and other exotic creatures. Many animals were saved from tragic situations, and found tied up in airports, kept as pets in appalling conditions, or have injuries and disabilities which mean that they wouldn’t survive in the wild. Monkey Haven gives them the chance to lead happy, tranquil lives, with all the food, care and treats that they need. “It’s our 10th birthday in 2020 and we had planned to celebrate all year round”, says Don. “Instead, coronavirus has brought us to the brink and our future is under severe threat. We can’t tell you how much it means to us to be one of Red Funnel’s Charities of the Year. We are so very grateful for this wonderful opportunity and thanks to your generous support, we can continue to care for rescued animals - and you’ve given us our future back.”

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Daisy Chains IW

Daisy Chains is an Island Based Charity supporting babies that are born very prematurely and will spend weeks in hospital as well as children that have a long-term health problem, life limiting condition or disability.

We support with the payment of travel costs to and from mainland hospitals for essential appointments and sometimes life-saving treatment and therapy's, for the premature babies we support parents to visit as often as is possible to spend precious time with their tiny newborn, this support can be needed daily or weekly in some circumstances , we book and pay for the travel so the parents do not have to worry about any aspect of this . Our other Services include buying children essential equipment that is needed and not available on the NHS, providing emergency NICU boxes to parents that are rushed over to the mainland without warning and along with the support of some of our travel partners providing much needed family days out to these amazing families.

In addition to the above during COVID 19 we have been running our basic essentials family fund where any family that is struggling to feed their children through COVID 19 related poverty can apply for a basic food and household item box and baby essentials box that we deliver contact-less to the doorstep , this fund has supported over 100 families on the island in the past month and will continue during this pandemic as long as funds allow.

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Please note that we will not be opening applications for Charity of the Year 2021 as we will be reinstating The Isle of Wight Independent Lifeboats.