Containers for Change for a little Possum Magic

Published on Thursday, 30 March 2023 at 1:40:45 PM

Down a Jarrah Forrest tree-lined driveway, lies Mount Helena’s rehabilitation and retirement home for wildlife and farm animals.

Home to more than 330 rescued animals, Possum Valley Animal Sanctuary is run by Chris Rafferty and Mark Hayman on their 30 acre rural property.

Possum Valley Animal Sanctuary owner Mark Hayman said the sanctuary relies on the help of volunteer animal carers and welfare advocates, along with donations from Containers for Change to supplement running costs.

“The sanctuary currently hosts a number of geese, donkeys, goats, and sheep who need rehabilitating or rehoming,” he said.

“Twenty acres of Jarrah Forrest is also dedicated to rehabilitating possums.

Containers for Change helps give animals a second lease of life

“We are a licensed charitable organisation and rely on donations and proceeds including from Containers for Change or our fundraising efforts to give these animals a second lease of life,” he said.

Over two years ago, the sanctuary received five Containers for Change collection bins from the Shire of Mundaring to collect eligible drinking containers including glass and plastic bottles, aluminum cans with a 10c refund mark on the side of them.

“The bins allow community members to donate their eligible drinking containers at the end of the driveway,” said Ms Rafferty.

“Each fortnight the bins are taken to the Coppin Road Community Recycling Centre where we receive a 10c donation per container. The refund is placed into our account the same day.

Ms Rafferty said they also collect the empties at the end of a fundraising event.

“We often host fundraisers including quiz nights and festivals such as Flocktoberfest.

“At the end of the night we collect all the empty drink bottles and cans for our containers for change collection.”

“It’s a fantastic scheme and has helped us a lot.”

Since the introduction of Containers for Change in the shire in 2020, Possum Valley Animal Sanctuary has recycled 127,135 containers through the program, raising $12,713 for the sanctuary.

Mr Hayman said the funds from Containers for Change supplemented the cost of running the sanctuary.

“The funds have contributed towards providing facilities, equipment, food and shelter, fencing, veterinary treatment, rescue, rehoming, community education and sanctuary operational expenses,” he said.

Possum Valley Animal Sanctuary 

The sanctuary evolved after a chance meeting with a Shropshire lamb, Missy, over 15 years ago.

The couple say that over the past 10 years the sanctuary has gradually grown.

“It started with rehabilitation, and it’s grown to rehoming animals since we moved to the property,” said Ms Rafferty.

Each week the couple receive over 20 requests to take in retired farm animals needing a ‘retirement’ space, or to rehome animals through their rehoming program.

“We have seen a lot of people having to rehome their farm pets due to financial difficulties, relationship break-ups, or simply having to downsize,” said Mr Hayman.

“We also work with the RSPCA to assist in rehoming animals. There’s not a lot of help for retiring or rehoming farm animals.

“When we take-in previous pets for re-homing or retirement, we encourage the old owners come and visit them. We think it’s important for both the animal and owner.”

Containers for Change

If you would like to donate your eligible containers to Possum Valley Animal Sanctuary, you can drop them off in one of the bins at the end of the driveway at 210 Kingston Road, Mount Helena.

Alternatively, you can drop your containers at the Coppin Road Recycling Centre and donate your change to the sanctuary using the scheme number C10292988.

For more information about Containers for Change visit the Containers for Change page on the website.

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