25th Nov, 2020

Newly weds replace wedding favours with wish-list from struggling Warwickshire animal sanctuary

‘SELFLESS’ newlyweds dedicated part of their wedding fund to a struggling Warwickshire animal rescue sanctuary.

Instead of traditional wedding favours, Leah Doyle and Nathan Spooner donated £130 to the sanctuary on behalf of their guests.

The Farm Animal Rescue Sanctuary (FARS) – based in Wolverton – is home to more than 450 animals and regularly struggles to make ends meet.

And the couple, who are both vegan and supporters of the charity, felt the gesture tied in with their ethical and sustainable values.

They told guests they were donating products from the charity’s ‘wish-list’ of items.

Leah said: “Our wedding was solely based on who we are as a couple. We knew it would come with some judgment having an all-vegan wedding, however, it is important for any couple to remember a wedding is a celebration of them and their beliefs. For us, this meant having as little negative impact as possible including our guest’s favours. Buying products for FARS was a beautiful way to show our support to a cause close to our hearts.

Everyone thought it was a brilliant way to do favours instead of something they’d appreciate for a minute and then throw away.”

The pair, from Birmingham, discovered the sanctuary after researching somewhere other than zoos or farms, to take their young nephew.

Leah added: “FARS is a truly wonderful organisation where its sole purpose is for the welfare of animals. After visiting and seeing what they do it is hard to forget and just move on. Since visiting we have been able to persuade a few people to visit there instead of their local farm or zoo and will continue to do so when it is able to re-open to the public.”

The sanctuary was set up over 30 years ago by 76-year-old former veterinary nurse Carole Webb, after she nursed a poorly lamb – destined for slaughter – back to health.

The charity has faced much difficulty in recent years, due to weather extremes impacting food supplies and damaging animal shelters and, more recently, thousands of pounds in fundraising losses. Their latest setback has been the breakdown of their all-important tractor used to re-fill hay feeders and re-stock bedding.

FARS team member Abi said: “Like most charity’s, we’ve had a really hard year. We’d normally put on a number of seasonal events and visit local fairs to help us spread the word as much as anything. A lot of people, because of where we are, don’t know we exist even though we’ve been there a long time. Our market is a bit niche – most people love dogs or cats whereas they often see farm animals a bit differently.

“Leah and Nathan were so selfless, especially during such a hard time. In such a harsh world it’s reassuring to know there’s such lovely and inspiring people out there.”

Leah hoped their event would also inspire others to think more sustainably on their big day.

She added: “We hope this can encourage people to think about the impact they are having when organising their wedding or event. You can choose simple things such as charitable gifts, an eco-friendly venue and menu, and re-using or renting decorations. Even using cruelty-free make-up, perfume and clothes.

“And people shouldn’t fear judgment. If people are there to celebrate your union as a couple then they’ll survive a meat-free, eco wedding for one day. You never know it may inspire someone.”

Visit www.farmanimalrescuesanctuary.org.uk to donate to FARS or to adopt an animal.

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