So where did it all begin? It was started by a very kind lady, Olive Lomas, who saved a lucky donkey named Maudie from slaughter. Her hard work and commitment continued thereby saving many horses and in 1957, the Sanctuary at Bleakholt Farm was formed. Running on pennies Bleakholt had a very humble beginning. Despite this, thousands of animals were saved. In 1968 Bleakholt became a registered charity.
Bleakholt continued to develop and grow in size and is now one of the largest of its kind in the North West of England. Spreading over a fifty-five-acre site in Edenfield near Ramsbottom, Lancashire. Bleakholt is under constant development to ensure we are able to provide the very best possible care and welfare for up to 350 animals currently with us.
Our first president was Margaret, Duchess of Argyll. Later on in 2003, Ted Robbins became our President and did a huge amount of fundraising for us. Then in 2016 well known Actress and Bury born Gemma Atkinson, probably best known for her parts in Emmerdale and Hollyoaks, agreed to be our President. Gemma is a very keen animal lover and used to visit Bleakholt as a child. She has done a lot of fundraising for us and visits on a regular basis.
From dogs and cats to horses and farm animals we really do have a vast array of animals at the Sanctuary. Our vision is ‘For every animal that comes into our care to have the best life possible and the opportunity to be re-homed in a safe, loving environment’.
We believe that every animal deserves a second chance and this means we often take in animals that have health conditions or are elderly. We try and make their stay as close to a home as possible by having special dedicated oldies areas. We continue to support these animals in homes so they have a better chance at finding that special forever home. This does mean our vets bills are constantly increasing.
On the stables and farm we take animals that are unlikely to be rehomed due to age or illness and provide sanctuary to them for the rest of their lives. We endeavour to give them the very best.
Bleakholt hopes this site will give you an insight in to the Sanctuary and its aims. We also hope it introduces you to a few new friends both of the two-legged and four-legged variety.