I hope you are all surviving the cold winter winds and sleet/snow we are currently getting hit with! Apologies it has taken a while to write, well 2 months in fact but I promise you the hard work we have been finishing off over this time has been well worth. I can finally announce that Raptor Aid has received full charitable status in England and is now recognised as a charitable incorporated organisation by law (CIO) charitable number 1177127 which is a HUGE step forwards in the work we want to achieve for birds of prey.
This has been a long road for myself (Jimmi), and I wanted to take you for a bit of a trip down memory lane. I’ve always been madly passionate about birds of prey in both captivity and the wild, over the years my love for them has matured into wild bird of prey conservation BUT my initial roots with birds of prey was heavily embedded in working with captive birds. Its what I’ve been lucky to do since about 12 years old before slowly moving into conservation work and monitoring wild birds of prey. In January 2011 I started a blog called Raptor Awareness where I would share news, images, stories and other bits of bird of prey information from around the world. This blog based on ‘hits’ became very popular and ran until 2015, I enjoyed writing the various pieces for it immensely and have to admit that was the seed that grew into Raptor Aid today.
I still wanted something to showcase the good and the bad birds of prey faced around the world but I also wanted to get people actively involved or encouraged to take an interest. I can still remember four years ago sitting in my flat whilst working at the International Centre for Birds of Prey where I had a pair of African White Backed Vultures for neighbors writing the first pages of Raptor Aid with the wonderful help of my friend Linda. That was the birth of Raptor Aid as I remember it.
I want Raptor Aid to go further than I ever will and to be a force for good to inspire future generations to want to care for birds of prey and their habitats and so the only sensible thing seemed to be gaining charitable status. It has been a long arduous task, and I must thank one of my Trustee’s Steve Watson for at times single handedly getting the charitable application over the line! It really has been mammoth task to make sure the Charities Commission were happy with everything and is a serious feather in Raptor Aid’s cap moving forward. To me it not only gives us longevity past my lifetime but also transparency and accountability for all that we do.
This is a new chapter now though, I have purposefully held off pushing Raptor Aid’s ideas and plans over the last two years until the charitable status was in the bag. Now this is achieved we can really push on, the hard work begins and we would love for you to join us.
I personally will be stepping away from any work with captive birds of prey so that I can focus on the work of Raptor Aid and to make sure there is no conflict of interest’s with future work we have taking place. I would also like to personally take this opportunity to thank friends and family who have helped and supported me with the vision of Raptor Aid and for yourselves for following and supporting the work so far.
Watch this page for Part 2 on what we have planned in the near future and Social Media for so much more instant bird of prey news!
Yours in birds,
Founder & Trustee