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Shoots asked to help keepers

Gamekeepers are among the most valuable assets to the countryside and every December for the next three years shooters are being asked to hold fund-raising shoots for The Keepers? Key Fund.

The Keepers? Key Fund was launched by the Gamekeeper Welfare Network (GWN), an organisation dedicated to supporting keepers, gillies and stalkers. The fund will help provide cash for the GWN and its rural partner charity the ARC-Addington Fund, which works to provide keepers with housing should they lose their job and consequently their home.

The Keepers? Key Fund is asking shoots this month to collect and contribute towards helping keepers find homes and jobs so that they can remain in their communities. Helen Benson set up the fund, she explained: ?If families are out of a job and need a temporary home, we can house people, thanks to the database of properties we are building up. The ARC-Addington Fund is then charged with finding applicants a permanent place to live.

?For successful applicants a house is purchased, it can then be rented or bought back. Rising rural house prices make it even more difficult for those out of work to find somewhere to live. If shooters can help, particularly over Christmas, we would be very grateful.?

For more details on the GWN, contact Helen Benson, tel (01677) 470294.