The Gloucestershire football club and an African elephant sanctuary

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 10 July 2020 7:55

This is a curious tale of a football club from Gloucestershire and an elephant sanctuary in Africa which we decided to run not least to continue to spread the good vibes it seems to have started. 

It all began for us – as it so often does these days - with a post on social media by the chief executive officer of Forest Green Rovers FC, Henry Staelens. 

The Nailsworth club is no stranger to a little unusual publicity, owned as it is by one Dale Vince, founder of Stoud headquartered energy market disrupter and green energy pioneer Ecotricity. 

If it is not part of an environmental mission to ‘green-up’ the world it is doubtful Mr Vince would be anywhere near it, but this tale shows how even a small gesture can make a big differenceprobably best told by Mr Staelens himself. 

Posting the image of the above team, he explains: “I thought it was a cool thing to show to highlight the really simple things we can all do to make a big difference. 

“These guys, from Zambia, work at an Elephant Sanctuary - rescuing, protecting and releasing orphan elephants back into the wild. 

“They spend three weeks out of four living on-site, away from their families, in a dangerous environment of predators and poachers. 

“At the end of each day, I’m told they love nothing more than a match amongst the staff. And that is why we received a letter later in 2019 asking for any boots and kit that we may be able to donate - a really simple thing for us to do, but clearly it was more than worthwhile. 

“Our kit has never looked so good :) Maybe we’ll have to ship our iconic Zebra print kit out later this year. 

 “I’m sure lots of you are doing things to help others at the moment, and I hope this mini-story inspires others to follow suit.” 

If Mr Staelens is asking for advice, far be it for The Raikes Journal to be so bold – but we would strongly recommend not sending the Zebra kit. It may not end well. 

Most living things fall into the category of prey when it comes to lions, Zebras are a favourite and Zambia has a good 1,200 at last count.