Official Riff Lord Tony Iommi has become patron of the Vale Wildlife Hospital in the village of Beckford, Gloucestershire. The appointment came about after the Black Sabbath legend found an injured collared dove and transported it to the hospital for treatment.
"We are absolutely thrilled to have Tony Iommi join us as Vale Wildlife Hospital's newest patron," the hospital's admin manager Natalie Gould tells the Worcester News (opens in new tab). "Tony and his wife, Maria, brought an injured collared dove to us earlier in the year. Everyone was pretty starstruck, and it was so lovely knowing they would both care enough and take the time to bring an injured patient to us."
The hospital celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2019, but has been struggling recently as energy prices sky-rocket, with their average electricity bill increasing from £1,200 per month to £5,500 per month. The charity then wrote to Iommi and his wife Maria, to invite them to visit the hospital and to see if they could help.
“To say we were excited when they agreed is an understatement,” says Gould. "During the tour, it was clear to see both Tony and Maria have a keen interest in wildlife and seemed to be impressed by what we do.
“It all unfolded from there really and we’ll be meeting with Tony again soon to discuss how we can work together to benefit Vale Wildlife Hospital. Tony has suggested an auction, but nothing is finalised yet."
Other patrons of the hospital include TV vet Emma Goodman-Milne and Wildlife TV Nigel Marven. Fans can help out by donating to the hospital directly (opens in new tab) (Paypal link).
Coincidentally, 82 bats were admitted to the Vale Wildlife Hospital in 2021.