Simon’s Last Wish
1991. Simon Cowell
Simon Cowell MBE, from Kent, is a conservationist and former TV presenter of ‘Wildlife SOS’ who set up ‘Wildlife Aid Foundation’ over 40 years ago, a charity dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of British wildlife, and has recently launched a major fundraising campaign to support the future running of the organisation.
The ‘Wildlife Aid Foundation’ is one of the busiest wildlife rescue charities in the UK, responding to over 20,000 wildlife rescue incidents every year, and relies solely on its base of 300 volunteers. The charity has been based out of Simon’s house, but recently, due to a terminal illness, Simon began planning a legacy project to ensure that the organisation will be able to continue its work and establish a new hospital and rehabilitation centre to treat animals. ‘Simon’s Last Wish’ launched in July 2022 and has so far raised over £460,000 to support the future running of the charity.
One of the charity’s main focuses is the importance of education in helping to preserve heritage. Through school talks, presentations, their online presence and other forms of communication, they play an active role in educating future generations about threats to Britain’s wild animals. One of the aims is to also create a new facility for hosting educational programmes, which will use eco-friendly technology and be based across a 10 acre wildlife estate.
In a personal letter to Simon, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“I wanted to write personally to thank you for your extraordinary service over 40 years, championing conservation and animal welfare through your charity, Wildlife Aid Foundation.
“You have been loved by audiences across the country on Wildlife SOS, inspiring generations of viewers to learn more about the animals on their doorsteps and how to protect them for the future.
“Now, through your Simon’s Last Wish campaign, you are creating an enduring legacy for your charity, fundraising for a new wildlife hospital and rehabilitation centre.
“Throughout your life, your compassion and dedication has saved hundreds of thousands of animals. As a small gesture of appreciation and admiration for all that you have done, I would like to recognise you as the UK’s 1991st Point of Light.”
“I’m thrilled to receive the award and the recognition of the work we do at ‘The Wildlife Aid Foundation’ that it brings. Britain is a nation of animal lovers but our wildlife can sometimes get overlooked. We strive to make a difference by rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing thousands of animals in need each year.
“The award comes at a pivotal time for the charity. We are developing a much-needed new headquarters which will allow us to continue looking after British wildlife for decades to come. We enjoy huge support from a team of over 400 volunteers who all deserve this award too because without them we could not do what we do.”
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