ONE of Britain’s best loved writers, entertainers and broadcasters has become a patron for a Somerford Keynes animal rescue centre after being touched by its work.

Popular poet, Pam Ayres, is lending her support Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue Centre (OAF) by taking on her role which she hopes will boost the profile of the charity and help raise cash for its desperately needed move to a new home.

Pam has supported Oak and Furrows for several years, ever since the charity rescued a poorly badger she found near her home, outside Cirencester.

“It was in a bad way and I didn’t know what to do with it so I rang the wildlife centre and Paul (one of OAF staff members) came out in his ambulance and took it away with such kindness and confidence. That is why I came to support them,” Pam said.

“It is such a reassurance if you find something injured that you have somewhere to turn to.We are very lucky to have it in the area.

“I just think this centre do a really great job and if I can help in any way I will.”

As a patron, Pam plans to speak about OAF publicly and thinks that using social media will be a great way of getting the message across about its good work.

“I will talk about it on Twitter – I have got 29 thousand followers – so there are 29 thousand people I can get the message across to,” she said.

She will start her role by judging an upcoming animal themed picture poetry competition, which will be open to primary schools in the area.

And not content with just representing the centre as its patron, she is converting parts of land she owns outside her home into release sites for hedgehogs which have been treated by the charity.

Barry Branigan, Oak and Furrows general manager, approached Pam to ask if she wanted to be a patron after spotting her name on the centre’s list of members and was overjoyed when she said yes.

“I have worked for charities for the last 20 years. An essential part of raising awareness for what a charity does is having a well known person as patron,” he said.

Oak and Furrows is in the middle of a fund-raising drive ahead of its relocation to a purpose-built base near Cricklade.

To get involved call 01666 860789.