Couple to receive special award from Bill Oddie for animal sanctuary

Chris and George Rockingham with dogs Ralph and Siri. PHOTO: Chris Rockingham

Chris and George Rockingham with dogs Ralph and Siri. PHOTO: Chris Rockingham - Credit: Archant

A married couple well known for their work at an animal sanctuary will be recognised for their dedication to rescuing and rehoming animals with a special award from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

Chris and George Rockingham of PACT with a hedgehog. PHOTO: Chris Rockingham

Chris and George Rockingham of PACT with a hedgehog. PHOTO: Chris Rockingham - Credit: Archant

Christine, known as Chris, and George Rockingham, from Hingham co-founded PACT, the largest all-animal sanctuary and rescue centre in Norfolk and Suffolk, in 1994.

For more than 20 years the couple have dedicated their lives to caring for mistreated animals, expanding PACT from a sanctuary for 100 animals to a charity that cares for more than 1,400, including wildlife, horses, and domestic animals.

They will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by television wildlife presenter Bill Oddie at the House of Lords on October 16.

Mr and Mrs Rockingham specialise in animals that have been victims of physical or mental abuse. PACT's work also includes rescuing and relocating stray dogs from eastern Europe.

Chris and George Rockingham with Pascal the chamelion. PHOTO: Chris Rockingham

Chris and George Rockingham with Pascal the chamelion. PHOTO: Chris Rockingham - Credit: Archant


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PACT runs a 24-hour Animal Ambulance that responds to urgent rescue calls – often working through the night. Many calls are in response to injured local wildlife which are taken to PACT's on-site veterinary practice.

Mr and Mrs Rockingham have also created a 2.5 acre area of lakes at PACT that provides injured wildlife, such as swans and ducks that are not able to survive in the wild with a safe place to live.

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Mr Rockingham said: 'It's a lot of hard work - my wife and I are still very much a part of the day-to-day running of the sanctuary, but it's been so rewarding. It's an absolute honour to be given this award.'

In 2006, they were awarded £50,000 from the National Lottery to open their Henry Hallam Therapy Centre, which houses friendly animals for people with physical and learning disabilities to interact with.

Philip Mansbridge, UK director of IFAW, said: 'Chris and George's lifelong commitment to rescuing and caring for so many animals is outstanding and they are a great example of animal welfare in action. They are both very deserving winners of IFAW's Lifetime Achievement Award.'

PACT is fundraising for a new facility to provide shelter for more than 300 hedgehogs and birds this winter. For more information visit www.pactsanctuary.org.

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