Rock legend donates guitar to Willows

WILLOWS ANIMAL SANCTUARY EMPLOYEE KELSEY McKENNA WITH THE BRIAN MAY GUITAR AUTOGRAPHED BY BRIAN.(RAE/BROWN)
WILLOWS ANIMAL SANCTUARY EMPLOYEE KELSEY McKENNA WITH THE BRIAN MAY GUITAR AUTOGRAPHED BY BRIAN.(RAE/BROWN)

ROCK legend Brian May has come to the aid of a struggling Buchan animal sanctuary.

The Queen guitarist has donated a signed Red Special guitar to Willows Animal Sanctuary near Strichen to help raise funds for the charity.

The guitar will be auctioned off at a special open auction, with the highest bid currently sitting well in excess of £1,000.

In a note sent to the staff at Willows, Mr May said: “I hope this trusty guitar will contribute to the life of these wonderful animals.”

Willows Animal Sanctuary, which is located between the villages of Strichen and New Pitsligo, has struggled over a number of years to raise funds to keep going.

It has suffered a series of financial problems and regular fundraisers are held to help keep the charity afloat.

The centre managed to overcome similar problems in 2010, but the money raised to keep it afloat was quickly used up paying for food and vet bills for the animals over the winter period.

Willows takes in animals which have been rejected by other charities and also runs an animal-assisted therapy programme for vulnerable people.

Commenting on the latest boost from Mr May, Jenny Gray of the sanctuary said: “We are absolutely delighted to have Brian May’s support.

“It is very kind of him and we hope that the guitar will attract loads of bids.

“It is great to have this boost so we can raise as much money as possible to pay for food and vet bills as well as the other associated costs of keeping the animals.”

Ms. Gray said Mr May had contacted the sanctuary after its patron, Paul Rodgers, who sang for Queen a number of years ago, told him about its work and its struggle to raise funds.

“Brian is a huge animal lover and he was happy to help us by donating the instrument.”

The guitar, which is worth around £650, has been signed by Mr May and will be sold off in the open auction which will run until December 23.

If you would like to bid for the guitar, contact Willows Animal Sanctuary on (01771) 653112.