Scottish Hydro lends a paw at the Willows

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When Scottish Hydro’s Colin McRae was listening to the radio on his way into work at Peterhead Power Station recently, he heard an advert from the Willows Animal Sanctuary appealing for volunteers.

The advert for the animal welfare charity based at New Pitsligo was asking for Buchan volunteers to help renovate their premises and Colin knew straight away it was something he wanted to do.

Now, thanks to Colin and his colleagues in the Peterhead area, the sanctuary has had all its wiring and electrical equipment checked, as well as having some wasteland transformed into a car park.

Colin and 41 of his team-mates have either helped or are scheduled to be helping out at Willows as part of Scottish Hydro’s ‘Community at Heart’ initiative, which allows staff a day away from the workplace to help with a charity or community project close to their hearts.

Colin explained: “I was driving into work one day and I heard someone from Willows on the radio saying how they were on the look out for volunteers to help them with their renovations.

“I’m an animal lover and knew straightaway that I wanted to get involved and I was really pleased that, when I mentioned it at work, so many of my colleagues also wanted to come along to lend a hand.”

Jenny Gray, manager at Willows is delighted with the work carried out by the Scottish Hydro team, and explains the difference they have made: “All the changes and improvements will help us provide a better service to the community, our Animal Assisted Therapy for vulnerable people and, of course, the 300 animals in our care.

“The electrical work was needed for a long time and we have never been able to afford the huge costs of having an electrician in to check it out. The team from Scottish Hydro also extended our car park, which has doubled the amount of vehicles we can accommodate and, overall, the work the team did has made an enormous difference to the sanctuary.”