Monkey Haven has won one of the most prestigious awards in Tourism for the South of England – a GOLD Beautiful South Award in the 2016 Small Visitor Attraction category.
At a rather fabulous ceremony last night, held at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl Hilton, we were presented with our huge crystal trophy. “We were so nervous and excited, it was a challenge not to drop it!” says Monkey Haven’s Kelly Wickes, pictured above.
The judges said lots of lovely things, including Nigel Smith, Chief Executive of Tourism South East, who commented, “Achieving excellence isn’t easy – it takes vision, years of commitment, hard work and talented people.”
We would like to dedicate this Award to everyone who’s supported us over the years, through volunteering, visiting, buying adoptions, sending little messages on Facebook and Twitter, and writing so many amazing reviews on TripAdvisor that we’re their most popular attraction on the Isle of Wight. We would also like to thank the very dedicated team who work for us, day in, day out – even coming in on Christmas Day to make a fuss of the animals.
We’re all in it for the same reason: we just love animals and with your support, we’ve been able to care for more and more rescued animals every year.
Monkey Haven’s founder Don Walser commented: “Well.. who’d have thought it? Certainly not us, six years ago, when we battled against the odds to open our little animal sanctuary on the Isle of Wight. People thought we were crazy – and maybe we are! – but our amazing supporters have always been there for us, sharing our drive to help animals in crisis, and that’s kept us going. This award means so much to us. So thanks a million… this trophy is for you.”
First picture in the slideshow. Pictured above from left to right: Chris Todhunter, Director of Studio Republic (sponsors), Monkey Haven’s Kelly Wickes and Anthony Walser, and Nigel Smith CEO of Tourism South East.
Second picture in the slideshow. The Monkey Haven team at the Award ceremony with the crystal trophy dedicated to all our wonderful supporters.
Third picture in the slideshow. Monkey Haven’s founder Don Walser with his daughter, Kelly Wickes, who manages Marketing & Communications for the park.