Conservation charity averts closure through first public appeal for 20 years

The Scottish Seabird Centre said it faced closure in April after it was forced to shut its doors because of the pandemic

The Scottish Seabird Centre (Photograph: Rob McDougall)
The Scottish Seabird Centre (Photograph: Rob McDougall)

A conservation charity has been saved from closure after it managed to raise more than £200,000 through its first public appeal for 20 years. 

The Scottish Seabird Centre, which runs a visitor centre and educational facility near Edinburgh, said it faced closure in April after the coronavirus pandemic forced it to shut its doors. 

But it said it had received “overwhelming generous support” to an emergency appeal that brought in more than £200,000 from the public, members and funders. 

The charity said it had launched a new “friends” initiative in response to the number of people who said they wanted to find a way to regularly contribute to it. 

But the charity, which also runs a variety of conservation projects, including its SOS Puffin scheme, warned that it still faced challenging times ahead, with visitor numbers capped at almost 70 per cent below normal capacity.

This meant its centre was providing only a fraction of the funds the charity needed to help its marine conservation work. 

Charlotte Bray, fundraising manager at the charity, said the new friends initiative was a great opportunity. 

“We’ve been so delighted at the amazing response to our appeal,” she said. “Not only have people been giving one-off gifts, but we’ve also seen a rise in people wanting to give a small donation monthly.

“Regular giving is fantastic for our charity as it means we’re able to plan and deliver our important education and conservation work for the future, knowing that we have the support.”


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