Durrell’s face mask fundraisers

Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust has recently reopened Jersey Zoo to its members. Part of the zoo’s safe opening strategy is the compulsory wearing of face masks by everyone over the age of eight to ensure the safety of the animals as well as staff and other visitors.

Two Durrell volunteers have raised over £8,500 to support the charity’s vital work by making and selling patterned fabric face masks outside of their homes. Both Karen Clark and Sarah Nugent are ex-Durrell staff members who have done a phenomenal job raising funds for Durrell while also helping their local communities stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Karen Clark has raised over £2,100 so far, and along with a team of 20 other Durrell volunteers has made 260 animal-themed face masks for the staff at Jersey Zoo who are required to wear them as a safety measure to protect the animals from COVID-19. Volunteers continue to make masks, which are available at the zoo for a donation of £5, and Karen’s masks can be purchased from a box on Ruette Gabard at the top of Gouray Hill.

Since the beginning of March, Sarah Nugent has been making and selling face masks using materials that were donated to the Durrell Charity Shop. So far, Sarah has made approximately 1,500 masks and raised £6,400 for Durrell’s ‘Cans for Corridors’ project, which raises funds to plant trees in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. Sarah’s face masks can be purchased from a roadside stall on Rue de la Garenne, Trinity, near Rondels Farm Shop.

Sarah says, “I am amazed at how much money I have managed to raise through selling face masks. I never in my wildest dreams thought I could raise this much. The lane outside my house has been a popular exercise route during the lockdown, which has really helped sales. During the beautiful weather, I was outside in the garden speaking to customers about the Cans for Corridors project. The sign next to my stall tells people how many trees we have been able to plant with the amount of money raised. I have been updating it every day and passersby have enjoyed watching the rainforest grow – we have now reached 12,000!”

Sarah leads the Cans for Corridors volunteer team at Durrell. The ‘Can-Can’ team managed to raise a total of £1,331.67 in 2019 by collecting and sorting aluminium cans donated by the public. The cans are then recycled by Hunt Bros, a local company that recycles scrap metal. The funds raised go towards building tree corridors in Brazil to connect areas of suitable habitat and increase the range for wildlife.

Mark Brayshaw, Director of Zoo Operations, commented, “Potentially many of our animals could catch the coronavirus and so it’s vitally important that visitors and staff wear masks at all times while at the zoo. This simple action not only helps protect our animals but also helps us protect each other. A huge thank you to Sarah, Karen and the rest of the volunteer team for lending us their creative talents to provide zoo staff with masks and raise vital funds for Durrell.”