Deeping St James Exotic Pet Refuge hopeful of success in 2012

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AN animal centre is looking forward to a good 2012 after a difficult fundraising year.

The Exotic Pet Refuge, in Deeping St James, is hoping this year will bring more success in fundraising after 2011 proved tough.

Despite fears over heating bills this winter, owner Pam Mansfield remains optimistic.

She said: “I’m looking forward to this year. We’ve got a lot of things planned which we are looking forward to.

“I’m still not sure if we have raised enough to pay for heating throughout the winter. It is at least £1,000 a month on electricity alone. We had a tough year but everyone is in the same boat.

“People just don’t have the money to spare and when they spend it they want something in return, which is fair enough.

“I have a few things that I would like to do, such as improve the alligator pen, but I won’t get into debt. I will only do that if we raise enough money.”

The centre’s main fundraising events are the six open days it holds each year. Last year it had three successful ones and three that were a little slow.

However Pam said she was determined not to let the lack of money stop the centre operating.

She said: “We will keep going, there’s no doubt about that.

“We’ve got a few things up our sleeves and over the next few days will be planning the year’s events.”

The first open day of 2012 has already been announced.

It will take place on Easter Sunday, April 8 and will run from 10am to 5pm. Entry costs £5 for adults and £3 for children.