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Helmsley’s Traditional Sweet Shop goes bananas to help Orangutan Orphanage

A Helmsley business owner is calling out for sweet-toothed Ryedale residents to go bananas ahead of a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Ketapang, Borneo.

Lynn Hempsall, co-owner of Helmsley’s Traditional Sweet Shop, is leaving on a self-funded month-long trip to Borneo on 4th June, to offer a helping hand at the sanctuary.

To help raise desperately needed funds for the charity, the Traditional Sweet Shop, which is based in Helmsley’s Barker’s Yard, is now selling bags of ‘Bananas for Budi’, full of the much-loved yellow foam sweets. Costing just £1.50 each, the whole amount will be donated to the orphanage. There will also be a ‘Guess the number of sweets in the jar’ competition on 28th and 29th May, with the nearest guess winning the whole jar of goodies.

The sanctuary teaches orphaned baby orangutans how to be adults and is run by International Animal Rescue. Budi was just one baby that arrived at the centre at the beginning of the year critically ill after losing his mother. With the intensive care and dedication of the sanctuary team he is now able to walk, has a friend and is ready to go to baby school to start the first stages of learning how to be an adult. Ultimately the hope is to release him back into a safe area.

Wild orangutans are depleting in numbers and along with the Sumatran elephants, Sumatran tigers and other species will become extinct in the next 20 years due to the logging and deforestation of their habitat for the production of cheap palm oil. Palm oil is found in many of our daily food items, make up and cleaning products, but much of it is not produced ethically.

Lynn, who is 55 and lives in Helmsley, explains: “When we set the sweet shop up we were careful in the selection of suppliers we worked with, as it is important to us that the majority of sweets we sell are produced in the traditional manner so they both taste as they should taste and don’t rely on the use of palm oil. Wherever possible we use long standing manufacturers along with up and coming artisan businesses that use local ingredients that are ethically produced.

“I have always loved primates and one of my dreams was to go on a holiday to see orangutans in the wild. But it’s just devastating to think that in 20 years there may be nowhere left to see them. This trip is a dream come true, although I am also terrified. This is a big challenge for me as I don’t like flying, and I haven’t travelled outside Europe before, or travelled alone. Holidays are usually nice hotels and a bit of luxury! This is going to be very basic, but what an experience. It would be great to be able to raise some funds before I go to help buy some equipment. It costs £100 for a climbing frame and £25 for a wheelbarrow to take the little guys to Orang school. I am also taking some veterinary supplies over with me and some text books they need. So come along to the Sweet Shop over the next week and join in all the monkey business!”

For more information, log on www.visithelmsley.co.uk or follow Helmsley on Facebook or @visithelmsley on Twitter. Lynn hopes to tweet about her travels @Lynn_Sweeties