Animal charity officials may lose money

FELIXSTOWE: Blue Cross officials face losing hundreds of thousands of pounds from their income over the next few years if they close Felixstowe's animal rescue shelter.

FELIXSTOWE: Blue Cross officials face losing hundreds of thousands of pounds from their income over the next few years if they close Felixstowe's animal rescue shelter.

Several people have threatened to cut the charity out of their will if the closure goes ahead - and others say they will cancel regular donations and do no more fundraising.

Up to �15,000 a year has been raised in the area for the charity's vital work at the animal welfare and adoption centre in Walton High Street.

Other people say they have allocated bequests in their wills.

One man told The Evening Star he was leaving �50,000 but had decided to change his will if the centre closed.

Another woman, speaking on behalf of an elderly friend, said: “My friend plans to leave her bungalow to the Blue Cross but she says she will not if they close the centre - she will just give it to another animal charity instead.”

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Volunteer and former centre manager Tom Crowley said: “We have heard of a number of people who will be changing their wills but also people who give regularly or do fundraising say if the Blue Cross have no presence in this area they will not support them.

“No-one round here will think of the Blue Cross any more - there will be no reason to.”

The charity is proposing to close the centre to invest huge sums in the north-west to create a new centre to help 100 extra animals a year - but campaigners say they should find a way to keep the Felixstowe base and expand into the north-west.

Chief executive Kim Hamilton said she would be “very disappointed” if people chose not to support the charity and accepted a degree of support would be lost but hopefully not too much because of its work countrywide.

Send us your messages of support for the Save the Blue Cross campaign - write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

Sign the Evening Star Save Our Blue Cross petition today - you can sign it in 40 vets and shops in Suffolk and Essex, online or download further copies from our website www.eveningstar.co.uk and get friends, family and neighbours to pledge their support.

You can also leave your comments on-line about the closure proposal.

Display a poster in your window - collect one from the Evening Star's Ipswich and Felixstowe offices.

Write to Blue Cross chief executive Kim Hamilton at Blue Cross head office, Shilton Road, Burford, Oxon OX18 4PF.