While many were watching the races during TT, one young islander spent her time raising money for an animal charity

Ten-year-old Arabella Russell raised £3,032 for Animals in Distress Isle of Man by selling lemonade and snacks to TT spectators at the Conkerfields in Lezayre.

She spent race week running the stand, and during the contingency days she would use that time to work on the posters and price lists.

Arabella’s mum, Gemma Russell, said: ‘We adopted a cockapoo called Daisy, from Animals in Distress a few years ago, so that is how she became aware of the charity.’

This isn’t the first time she has raised money for Animals in Distress Isle of Man. Last year Arabella also had a lemonade stall during TT and raised around £300.


Helen Makin, volunteer administrator at Animals in Distress, said: ‘We are extremely grateful for the amount of money raised.

‘During conversations, we thought she might double what she raised last year, but no, she raised £2,032.22, which was beyond anything we ever expected.

‘On top of that amount local dentist Tracey Bell donated a further £1,000 to Bella.

‘Tracey had been following Bella’s facebook highlights and was very impressed with Bella’s forward thinking, tenacity and kind nature.’

Animals in Distress Isle of Man, set up in 2013, is a not-for-profit rescue service for all animals, be it dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, rodents or horses.

The spokesperson said: ‘Some of the funds raised have already been distributed.

‘Of the money raised £1,000 will go to Jane Callow’s Vet, £585 to Medicor, £500 towards fees for Willow, a dog with a broken leg, and £85 for consultation and meds for Sparky, who was found to have critical health problems and will require ongoing meds which will be paid for until he is back to full health.

‘A further £300 will go to Victor, a foster dog who requires specialist food and meds.

‘The remaining balance will be used for future vets fees and those in need of assistance to pay their vets fees.’

Arabella’s mum, Gemma, said: ‘I am just so proud of Arabella.

‘It was long and tiring, we would go to the field before the roads closed at around 9am, and stay until 6.30pm, and then when we got home, we would have to clean up.

’By the end of the week, she was getting so tired, it was long days, and boring at parts, but she was so determined and she just did so well, making all the visitors feel so welcome.

‘People were really impressed that she was only 10 and you can just tell by seeing her how much she loves animals, she will talk to anyone, so was very welcoming.

‘At the end of the week Arabella said that she was “flabergasted” by all the money that she raised.

‘I think she also loves seeing where the money goes to, because the charity last year told her what they used the money for.’

Animals in Distress Isle of Man said: ‘We are all extremely proud and humbled by Arabella’s kindness in supporting Animals in Distress Isle of Man and using her own time and energy to support animal welfare.

‘Thanks must also go to Bella’s parents, Charles and Gemma Russell for their help and also to those who donated drinks and food for Arabella to sell each day.’