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Charity News

We’re running a Big Hop Event on Saturday 21st April 2012 at Woodhead Park, Kirkintilloch.

David & Aimee’s Sponsored Space Hopper will happen on the day, and we’d love more of you to join us too. Could you do a sponsored hop round the park? Maybe join us on a Space-hopper too? Or Pogo stick? Bunny hop on your BMX? It’s great for all ages, from 2 year olds through to 90s, whether you do a two minute hop or hop for hours!

Create a sponsorship page online today, or download a sponsorship form to get you started.

Also on the day, we’ll have our awareness & fundraising tent on hand with lots of information and advice on hand for caring for your rabbit. Meet our Giant Rabbits, and meet some of our rescued rabbits looking for a new home. We’ll have charity collections and our Prize Every Time Lucky Dip.

Saturday 21st April, 12pm until 4pm @ Woodhead Park, Kirkintilloch, G66 3DD

www.thebighop.org

Father and daughter team David and Aimee Bell, aged 5, are set to straddle their space-hoppers in a sponsored hop for their favourite pets.

And as Easter approaches Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care, a registered Scottish charity, are asking us all to hop on board and raise funds for Glasgow & West Central Scotland's rabbits in need.

'The Big Hop' invites families, schools, nurseries, workplaces and community groups to pull together and run their very own sponsored hop event to raise cash for the rabbits in their care; rabbits that are unwanted or may have come from neglected or abandoned homes and are in desperate need of help to find a permanent, loving home.

David Bell, 32 year-old director of the charity comments, ""Despite being the UK's 3rd most popular pet, it continues to be the most misunderstood, abused and neglected pet we have. Even those who think they are caring for their rabbit often haven't taken the time to learn appropriate care and end up potentially damaging the wellbeing of their pet. Our understanding of what rabbits need has changed in recent years and we are hopeful our Big Hop events will help raise awareness and funds to improve this situation in our local area"".

Alongside the fundraising activities, Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care's team of volunteers are offering to visit your school, nursery or community group to deliver their awareness displays. ""The problem isn't lack of care as much as its lack of awareness,"" David continues ""We hope that by educating existing and potential rabbit owners on better ways to care for rabbits we can not only improve conditions for the rabbits, but teach their owners how to get more fun and interaction out of their pet"".

Rabbits entering the service often need a lot of treatment and specialist care at first in order to prepare them for suitable homes. It typically costs in excess of £100 to prepare each rabbit for rehoming, which doesn't include day-to-day food & bedding costs. When it comes to finding a new home the donations received by adopters often only account for 30-50% of what it's cost the organisation to treat them. The surplus is covered by private donations from the charities followers and supporters. As demand increases though, their funds are falling dangerously low.

The organisation, which formed in December 2010 and gained charitable status in November 2011, has very quickly been faced with a high demand for their services. Typically around 40 rabbits are looking to be rehomed at any time, and there is a waiting list of rabbits waiting to enter the service too. Utilising volunteers who act as foster carers caring for the rabbits in their own homes, Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care provide a range of care services including neutering & vaccinations via partner vets throughout the area prior to rehoming any rabbit.

David's wife and Co-director Feona Bell, 24, added, ""The Big Hop is a really fun way for families and friends to enjoy the joys of Spring and make a massive difference to Easter's favourite animal.""

To get involved in The Big Hop, visit www.thebighop.org or call 0141 280 3272 and start your sponsorship today.

Please also consider sponsoring David & Aimee via their Just Giving page - http://www.justgiving.com/davidwbell.

Adopt a bonded pair for the reduced minimum donation of only £75

Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care currently have 12 bonded pairs of rabbits within the service that are all looking for new homes.

Rabbit Welfare organisations always recommend that rabbits are kept in pairs or small groups. They are sociable, interactive, intuitive community animals by their nature, and to keep a single rabbit is denying them of one of their major needs, and is therefore in contravention of the Animal Welfare Act.

Until you have seen a bonded pair interact with each other (within a suitable space with appropriate diet & stimulation!), you've never truly experienced rabbits' natural behaviour. You see a completely different side of your rabbit, and you will notice a significant change in how 'happy and hoppy' your rabbit will become.

For this reason, most adoption enquiries are from families looking for a single rabbit that they can bond with an existing rabbit. This is excellent news for the rabbits who are about to find a new buddy, sometimes for the first time.

However, its not so good for existing couples who remain on an ever growing list with chances of finding a permanent, forever home seeming to disappear into the distance.

So, throughout March FBRC are looking for people who can adopt some of their rabbit couples.

They've also reduced the minimum donation fee for adopted pairs to only £75 per fully vaccinated, neutered pair. On the topic of reducing the cost, David advises ""It's not that we've got plenty of cash, quite the opposite. But by slightly reducing the cost of a pair to encourage those who pass our home check criteria to adopt a pair rather than singles we can free up additional space within our network. Longer-term this should mean we can help more rabbits, keep the service running, and hopefully create a bit of cash flow again"".

You can view all the couples currently available by visiting http://www.fairlybelovedrabbitcare.org/adopt.

Did you know? Did you know that it is entirely possible to bond rabbits in small groups? Perhaps you have a couple already, but have more than enough space to take on a couple more? Or a single can become three. There's no denying that it can be a little harder to manage the initial bonding process with small groups, but it is achievable. David & Feona, FBRC directors, have their own trio who live happily in the same shed & run setup. They can help with bonding, and help to teach you some of the tricks of the trade: learn why rabbits behave the way they do when bonding and you can help make sure it's a success.

The Adopt A Pair Month is running alongside Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care's 'The Big Hop' campaign - a series of fundraising events as Easter approaches.

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Chatelherault Primary School in Hamilton are getting set for Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care's Big Hop treatment next week.

Next week, FBRC volunteers will be visiting one of the classes to deliver our Big Hop Education & Awareness talk, an interactive classroom discussion about rabbit care and welfare.

Later in the week, the class will then be doing their own sponsored hop as they complete an assault course on space hoppers to raise funds for the rabbits in the care of Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care.

The Big Hop, FBRC's Easter Fundraising & Awareness campaign, runs through until the end of May, so there's plenty of time for you to get involved too. Why not arrange your own sponsored hop event, or invite us to your school, nursery, or community group?

You can sponsor the class at Chatelherault on their Just Giving page.

David Bell, one of the Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care trustees, recently bought his own VW Transporter multi-van specifically to make the work he does with the charity that little bit easier. With the flexibility of up to 9 seats, or completely ""empty"" the van is versatile enough to carry people & equipment to events, transport rabbits and equipment and more.

DWB Consultancy Ltd, David's Business & IT Consultancy company who also provide all our website services, donated the cash that allowed the van to be wrapped.

""The success of Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care depends on members of the public being aware we exist,"" commented David. ""Because we don't have a rescue shelter that people can visit, we're constantly out on the road, and so it was logical for us to advertise ourselves in this way.

""Most charities our size can't afford to do this, and we couldn't have either without the donation for this purpose. Now when we're 'out on the job' we're also raising awareness of ourselves, which should hopefully attract more donations, volunteers and adopters. That kind of publicity is simply priceless."".

Thanks also go to Totally Dynamic, Cumbernauld, for applying the design to the van and offering Fairly Beloved Rabbit an excellent price and high quality service!

The van hit the road yesterday, and has already turned quite a few heads. So if you see us when you're out on your travels, give us a little 'Toot' of the horn and a wave.

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