Portsmouth teen wins Christmas card competition and secures £1,000 donation to wildlife hospital

Anniemae Leason fromBrent Lodge Wildlife Hospital with Christmas card competition winner Nicole Pook, 14
Anniemae Leason fromBrent Lodge Wildlife Hospital with Christmas card competition winner Nicole Pook, 14

A TEENAGER who has devoted hours of her time to wildlife has won a Christmas card competition run by a business – securing a £1,000 donation to a wildlife hospital she volunteers at.

Portsmouth teenager Nicole Pook has won Southern Co-op’s competition in which entrants were tasked with designing its corporate Christmas card.

The 14-year-old has been given a hamper of Christmas goodies, copies of her Christmas card and a £1,000 donation made in her name to Brent Lodge Wildlife Hospital in Chichester.

Southern Co-op said it was overwhelmed by the number of entries to its competition to design the card, which will be sent to colleagues and partners, but that after a few long discussions it was agreed that Nicole’s design was the winner.

Ann Pook, Nicole's mum, said: ‘I am so proud of Nicole. She couldn't believe it when she won. She kept saying “I can't believe it, I can't believe it”.

‘She entered because she loves art and wanted to win the money for the animals at Brent Lodge. When she leaves school she would like to work with animals.

‘She used to volunteer at Staunton Country Park as a junior ranger and about four months ago she started volunteering at Brent Lodge. So she and her friend go there every Saturday for about four hours.

‘They both absolutely love cleaning out the hedgehogs and pigeons and looking after them. She has to pick the hedgehogs up and weigh them.’

Brent Lodge Wildlife Hospital is the current charity partner of Southern Co-op's funeral home in Chichester.

Asha Park, supporter communications manager from the hospital, said: ‘We were totally thrilled to have one of our volunteers be selected as the winner of the competition.

‘With nearly 200 hedgehogs in our care plus other sick or injured wildlife the funds will make a huge difference to our organisation, and I know Nicole is very happy about it and glad the money will help the animals.’

Four runners up received a £100 donation for their associated charities: St Wilfrid's Hospice, Augusta Park Community Association, HART Wildlife Rescue and Canine Partners.