Anneka to run with Born Free’s Will Travers in the BIG FUN RUN for new Elephant Sanctuary

This summer sees the return of THE BIG FUN – a fun 5km run around the country in aid of various charities, the emphasis being on ‘fun’ and not how fit you are so children and less fit folk are able to join in to help raise money for their favourite causes.


Born Free emailed me about taking part in The Big Fun Run for their charity and I agreed to run the Maidstone stretch as it’s close to my house. I was overwhelmed when a follow up email from Will said that he was going to do it with me! This got me thinking, which topic should we run for, as I am completely behind all of Born Free’s causes. After looking over the website I saw that Virginia McKenna, Will’s mother and founder of Born Free has a ‘dream’. Something really quite special and something that has never been done before in history, let alone by Born Free. She wants to create Europe’s very first 100% wild, green and free sanctuary for rescued elephants.

Currently, as it stands, Europe has nowhere to take rescued elephants if they are liberated from cruelty at zoos and circuses. These elephants cannot go back to the wild and many are broken and abused from years of solitary confinement, chains and beatings. Virginia and Will have a dream to create a sanctuary consisting of hundreds and hundreds of acres of green and rolling countryside for the elephants to get lost in, so the elephants truly believe that they are back in the wild. Some elephants kept from the company of other elephants all their life can be reunited back with their own species. There will be privacy away from the prying eyes of humans, so they can truly be in the wild, just like they should have been from birth.


Born Free’s wondrous team of vets and volunteers will watch over the rescued elephants, treat them for illness and help rehabilitate them. The sanctuary will be in a lush warm part of Europe so the elephants are not forced to endure crippling cold winters like they have been forced to before in northern Europe, there will also be natural resources for them to eat from. It will be a beautiful dream.


But in order for this dream to become a reality, Born Free really needs our help and our donations. The TARGET is as follows:

Phase 1 of the build: £500 – £750,000 to establish an emergency rescue facility including fencing and necessary infrastructure

Phase 2 of the build: £2.5 – £3 million to buy land for the lifetime care sanctuary & 2.3 – 5.3 million pounds to fence the land, adapt any existing buildings and develop the land

Every small amount counts, every £5, every £10 and if everyone donates a small amount and shares this appeal, we might just see Virginia’s dream become a reality.