View Full Version : Fiona Oakes

Nov 6th, 2007, 03:19 PM
I tend only to post in the Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary thread in the UK sub forum, but after exchanging PM's with a few folk over the past week, I think there are still a lot of people who haven't heard about this place or the work that Fiona does - so I thought I would post something here.

Essentially, with no budget for marketing, spreading the word about the work Fiona does is a bit of an uphill struggle! For those that already know, please for give the repetition but for those that don't...

Fiona has been Vegan for over 20 years & I think she is a pretty good Vegan role model. She has been to the Olympics for cycling ('92) & now does marathon running for the Vegan Runners - and has come top 10 in a number of international marathons (22nd in London)

She is over one hour quicker than Vegan hating Gordon Ramsey. We have tried to get this 'excellent angle' some promotion for Vegan campaigns etc via the large organisations, but they are not interested - some preferring to dump manure outside his restaurant as a publicity stunt - nice one guys

Nearly every day I read between the lines in the papers that the Government or some scientific body is more or less saying that a Vegan diet is best for health - although they stop short of using the word Vegan - obviously - & they can't actually print 'don't eat meat' at all for fear of alienating the majority of people in the UK.

When you consider poor Fiona has a knee replacement too - her athletic performance as a Vegan is incredible. If she competed in the disabled Olympics which she is entitled to do, she would get Gold without a doubt - but she doesn't want to do this - she prefers to compete against able bodied competition

She became the Essex County Marathon Champion in May this year slashing 11 minutes off their 13 year course record.

All this AND she looks after over 300 rescued animals at her Sanctuary ON HER OWN

AND she is a retained Fire-Fighter

The reason I am doing this is because the costs of caring for all those rescued animals - 29 horses, 25 Dogs, 53 Cats, 25 Pigs & so on is crippling. Over £4000 a month just for their feed costs + vets bills.

The Sanctuary does offer sponsorship schemes whereby you can help towards the costs by donating a few pounds a month & this entitles you to visit at the Open Days etc. Over the past 8 years the Sanctuary supporters have grown to number 140

One of the key points to note is that every penny goes towards the animals feed costs, as there are no staff to pay & the Sanctuary is not run as a business - i.e. no admins costs or other expenses to deduct from donations received.

On my last post to the towerhill thread
I said there had been 4 new dogs... I meant 6 ! - I can't even count anymore

Please do have a read of the thread & if you want to read about the animals, please go to the sanctuary website at http://www.towerhillstables.com

If you do not want to help with the costs of the animal feed, but want to help Fiona with her running costs (shoes/Vegan Runners kit etc), then please contact her via the website

Thank you for reading this


Nov 29th, 2007, 04:23 PM
Following the Sanctuary's Open Day last Sunday, and also an e mail sent round by the UK organisation "South West Animal Protection", Fiona recieved this letter from a visitor who had attended the Open Day. She has asked us to share her letter:

Dear Friends

You may have seen an email earlier flagging up an animal sanctuary in desperate need. I wanted to take a moment to elaborate on this. I had the pleasure of going to one of two annual Open Days at Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary in Essex last Saturday. If you are not already familiar with the amazing Fiona Oakes and her gorgeous gang of rescued animals, then please read on.

I met more than 300 lucky creatures (dogs, cats, chickens, turkeys, horses, ponies, cows, pigs, sheep, goats…), rescued from all manner of horrors and neglect, who have been offered a lifetime safe haven at Tower Hill Stables. Many are old and infirm. The dedication of Fiona and her partner, who also both work to try to make ends meet, is humbling. In addition to her job and the day-to-day running of the sanctuary, Fiona runs marathons, training every week when she can, to demonstrate ‘vegan power’.

The animals at Tower Hill Stables are remarkably happy and relaxed (I had a beautiful tabby called Thelma wrapped round my neck for about an hour as I was shown round the sanctuary!), and moreover safe from the often uncaring outside world, but their futures need securing and to do this, I know that Fiona needs financial assistance. Every penny she receives from supporters goes to feed and care for the animals.

In order to put the sanctuary on a firm financial footing and to provide the lifetime of care that these animals deserve, Fiona needs to double her membership base, which currently stands at around 140 members. If, say 150 people were to join the Sanctuary, it would go a long way towards ensuring that monthly costs of approx £4,000 could be safely met.

If you can manage say £2 per month, please download the membership form from Fiona’s website and fill it out today:


Doubling the membership base is entirely achievable, and will make a world of difference to Fiona and the animals in her care. If you are already a member, then please persuade a loved one, friend, or colleague, to set up a standing order and together we can ensure that Fiona can continue her tireless and invaluable work for the animals.

Members are automatically invited to the two annual Open Days, and, if you haven’t visited already, you won’t regret it. The animals are all real characters and a delight, and Fiona’s enthusiasm for them, and for life in general, is infectious and inspiring! It is one day out that I won’t forget in a hurry!

Amanda George
St Neots