Time running out for animal sanctuary in Norwich to find new home

Lora Steggles with her ewe, Angelica Lambsbury, who has been nominated for two Animal Star Awards. P

Lora Steggles with her ewe, Angelica Lambsbury, which inspired her to start Angelica's Rainbow Sanctuary on Hellesdon Road, Norwich, in 2016. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

An animal sanctuary which helps improve people's mental health is under threat of closure as the deadline for it to find a new home looms ever closer.

Angelica's Rainbow needs to secure funding of £100,000 in nine months in order to finance the relocation of the sanctuary after it was told in April it would have to move from its current site in Hellesdon Road in Norwich.

The sanctuary, which houses more than 40 animals including ponies, guinea pigs and hens, helps hundreds of people in the local community through the mutual benefit of caring for and interacting with animals. 

A lamb at Angelica's Rainbow Sanctuary on Hellesdon Road in Norwich.

A lamb at Angelica's Rainbow Sanctuary in Hellesdon Road in Norwich. - Credit: Lora Steggles

The sanctuary has been hunting for a new home as the current location is on the site of the Marlpit Arms pub, which is currently in the process of been renovated ready for opening next year.  

Lora Steggles, who founded the charity, said: "It has been really difficult to find somewhere and we need to find the funding before we can start the move. 

"One of the benefits of our current location is that we are accessible to people in the city, so we really want to find a new site that isn't too far away but this makes it more expensive.

"We have lots of people who live in flats and accommodation where they cannot have pets come to visit.

"Sometimes children who visit have never seen a sheep before in their lives so its great to offer the chance to interact with these animals in the city."

Angelica's Rainbow Norwich Animal Sanctuary at risk of losing home

Angelica's Rainbow specialise in rescuing animals that otherwise would not be easily adopted, such as sheep, poultry, reptiles and hedgehogs - Credit: Lora Steeples

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The 36-year-old set up the sanctuary in 2016 and now has a team of 84 volunteers. 

Miss Steggles added: "We are busier than ever and had 400 people come to visit the sanctuary for our free Christmas event.

"When I hear from people how the animals have helped them it shows how much of a need there is for this organisation in the local community.

"If we don't find a new home in time we'd unfortunately have to rehome all our animals at other sanctuaries across the UK."

Donations to the fundraising appeal can be made here.