Stan’s animal farm backed by volunteers
Man given overwhelming support at Pets Corner
A PLEA for volunteers to help an elderly man keep an animal farm in Hillingdon open for members of the public has seen an overwhelming response, as locals go above and beyond his request.
Stan Atkins, who is aged in his 80s, has tended to the farm at Pole Hill Park, also known locally as ‘Pets Corner’ for 40 years.
Volunteer Sue Kitt, from Ruislip, lends a hand but needed extra helpers with the skills to help build a peacock enclosure, after it had been vandalised.
But her plea, featured in the Gazette and our website getwestlondon, received such a response that a committee has now been set up to organise the dozens of offers of help that came flooding in.
Sue said: “They’re all so passionate about it and a lot of them live close to that park.
“It’s clear that generations of their family have lived close to that park. “I thought if the feelings are that strong and people are that passionate about it, then you’ve got to do something about it, so we’ve created a proper committee to hopefully keep going for the long term.” A team of volunteers from Hillingdon have already set to work sprucing up the landscape and injecting a new lease of life into the farm farm, which has been enjoyed by gene generations of resid residents. A Facebook grou group, Stan’s Frie Friends at Pets Cor Corner, was set up to coord ordinate jobs and has more tha than 100 mem members, as wel well as a cro crowdfunding pag page to save mo money for too tools and eq equipment. Sue added: “T “They’re so ex excited and en enthusiastic an and it’s lovely be because I’m getting so many comments on the page, where people want to do stuff, so I’m just trying to coordinate it all.
“Hopefully, when the time comes that Stan’s not around any more we will have achieved charity status and therefore the farm can continue.”
Stan himself is said to be ‘loving’ the reaction the community has had towards Pets Corner.
Sue said: “He’s been following groups around the farm - we’ve got photos of groups of us with him and his eyes were twinkling and he’s laughing.
“The communication between all of us on Facebook is just crazy at the moment, and we’re working so desperately hard. It’s more about getting a committed group up and running to grow into a proper charity.
“I’ve got a good mix of people from the community and hopefully we can get a councillor involved.
“We’re just going to run with it and see what happens, we can only do our best.”
Responses to the plea came from far and wide and young and old and were all received by Stan.
His farm began as a shelter for those moving into high-rise accommodation in the borough who could no longer keep their cats and dogs with them.
Tom Shirley, 77, offered a hand as he and his wife used to visit with his grandchildren, while 15-year-old Jodie Aubery hoped to devote her summer holidays to helping the animals.
Another offer of help came from Luke Meagher, who said: “I would love to lend a hand any way I can. I don’t have much money or time, but what I do have I would love to give to Stan.
“The farm has been part of my childhood.”
Caroline Donnelly, founder of Friends of Hayes End, who is now a committee member, said: “We used to love going there as kids, as did many of our mates from school, so would love to be able to give something back.”
n PASSIONATE: Volunteers at the farm with Stan Atkins (also pictured below)