‘Don’t throw in the towel’ - sealife centre appeals for donations for animals

PUBLISHED: 16:00 28 September 2017 | UPDATED: 17:23 29 September 2017

A young common seal wrapped in a donated towel, which keeps the injured animal warm and dry. Photo: Joe Murphy/RSPCA

A young common seal wrapped in a donated towel, which keeps the injured animal warm and dry. Photo: Joe Murphy/RSPCA


An RSPCA wildlife centre has appealed for donations of towels and facecloths which are essential for their day-to-day care of injured seals, hedgehogs, and baby ducklings.

The RSPCA also cares for hundreds of hedgehogs at the centre, who are kept nice and snug in flannels. Photo: Karen Butler/RSPCAThe RSPCA also cares for hundreds of hedgehogs at the centre, who are kept nice and snug in flannels. Photo: Karen Butler/RSPCA

The East Winch wildlife centre has asked the public to donate their old or unwanted towels, face cloths, and flannels to be used to care for animals.

The centre gets through more than 10,000 towels every year, as they have to give fresh towels to the animals every time they are fed or given medicine.

It is vital to keep the towels clean to prevent the spread of disease between the animals.

Read more: Seal appeal throws in the towel after flood of donations to RSPCA’s Norfolk animal hospital

The centre has already cared for 134 seals this year, and used 6,700 towels. Many of the 49 grey seals and 85 common seals rescued required a long period of rehabilitation at the centre - and one seal can get through more than 50 towels during their stay.

Even the tiny hedgehogs rescued by the centre need a clean face cloth each day to keep them warm and dry.

548 hedgehogs have been cared for so far this year - and the number of cloths needed has been higher than 3,800.

437 ducklings have also been cared for, requiring more than 3,000 towels.

Read more: Could you help the seals, swans and hedgehogs at this Norfolk wildlife hospital?

Alison Charles, centre manager at East Winch, said: “I know the residents of Norfolk are probably wondering what on earth we do with all these towels, given we have run appeals like this in the past.

“The truth is we actually get through thousands and thousands of towels every year.

“Whenever possible we wash and reuse them, but we have to be so careful to prevent the spread of disease.

“Sadly in most cases we can only use a towel once - so you can understand how the figures add up so quickly.”

Ms Charles explained that while towels might seem like a common everyday item for many people, for the centre, they are “like gold dust and are really important for our day to day work”.

Read more: Cute picture alert... Your old towels could help save a hedgehog like this little chap at Norfolk’s East Winch Wildlife Hospital

She added that as the centre only requires old towels, and have urged people to search their cupboards at home for any they no longer need, “it’s also a great way to recycle as well”.

Collection points are located at Tesco stores in Norfolk: on the King’s Lynn Hardwick Estate; in Swaffham; and in Dereham.

The towels can also be placed in a yellow bin outside the wildlife centre in East Winch Norfolk

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