Help the Monkey Haven win a Charity Film Award

Islanders are being asked to cast votes to support the Isle of Wight’s very own Monkey Haven in a national competition to find the best charity film.

A short film about the popular primate rescue sanctuary, based on Staplers Road near Newport, has been put forward to win the top spot in the Charity Film Awards, in association with charity foundation Smiley Movement – and it needs our help.

The five minute film tells the story of how founder Don Walser, 73, started with just a muddy field in 1999 and went on to create an award winning habitat for the care of primates – many rescued from tragic situations, found tied up in airports, or badly neglected by their previous owners.

The interview-led film was made by 19-year-old Ellie Wickes, Don’s granddaughter, and now needs votes as it competes with 57 other videos to go through to the next round, while increasing awareness about the work of Monkey Haven on the Isle of Wight.

Ellie said: “Growing up alongside the Monkey Haven has been a real experience for me. Through highs and lows I have watched my grandad’s dreams turn to a reality and followed the journey through 19 years of my life.

“It has been truly inspiring to witness my grandad’s passion of creating a ‘forever home’ for primates and animals in need, and my family’s dedication and determination in bringing it all to fruition. I felt it was important to create this short film of Monkey Haven’s journey as not only a testimony to years of hard work and commitment, but as a reminder of just how far we’ve come as a charity – and a chance to reflect on our achievements.

“This is my grandad’s legacy and I have loved sharing it with you all.”

Monkey Haven has won numerous awards, including a Gold Award from Visit England and Tourism South East Beautiful South Awards.

To see the video and cast your all-important vote, go to