Vale Press print a Calendar for a “Castaway”!

This post takes us out of our local area, indeed out of the UK … and to the old Eastern-bloc country of Bulgaria!

Vale Press are really pleased to now be publishing partners with Lucy Irvine. Lucy has had an incredible life including living on a desert island for a year … the inspiration for her first book, Castaway – later an international box-office hit film starring Oliver Reed and Amanda Donohoe. She now runs LIFE charity – an animal sanctuary in Bulgaria and Vale Press have printed a 2021 calendar to raise much needed funds.

A Year-Long Pledge to Animal Rescue

Improving the lives of animals in Bulgaria is the key aim of the Lucy Irvine Foundation Europe (LIFE). In an attempt to help more horses, dogs and cats in the country, Vale Press and LIFE have created a really useful calendar featuring the transformations of twelve animals rescued by the charity.

Every month, you can see the difference that a little love and care has made to one particular being and know that your purchase has helped change the lives of many more. 

 A Lifetime Labour of Love

The work that the charity does is quite exceptional and the founder, Lucy Irvine, has dedicated herself to rehabilitating mistreated animals after living a rather extraordinary life herself. The author of best-selling book, Castaway, her story was based on her own true-life experiences and was later made into a film. Despite her lack of conventional education, she became a member of Mensa aged just 16, with her love of books fuelling her passion for knowledge. Lucy also nurtured a love for animals early on, leaving school at 13 years old to seek work for herself and look after pets. Shortly afterwards she found a job as a monkey keeper.

Later, after hitch-hiking around Europe, Lucy moved to Scotland with her father. He had created a life of self-sufficiency, rearing farm animals and growing his own food. Lucy found friendship in her dog and pony, but it was not long before the lure of the road called her again. Answering an ad for a ‘wife’ on a remote tropical island, she learnt to live off the land and sea and developed an understanding of a whole new culture.

It was here she developed the story for her first book. Three sons, three books and a serious spinal injury later, Lucy finally settled in Bulgaria, after spending time back in Scotland and in the Outer Solomon Islands.

Finally Finding Her Home

Despite feeling at ease in the Eastern European country, life in Bulgaria was not without its troubles. Her house burnt down one morning whilst Lucy was out walking her rescued dogs. When she was camping in the wreckage of the building, her eyes were opened to the plight of animals within the Roma community. She was devasted at the state of the mange-ridden dogs and severely over-worked horses. Those animals were the inspiration behind the creation of the Lucy Irvine Foundation.

Now, publishing partners Vale Press are keen to help extend the reach of Lucy’s charity. The money raised from this really worthwhile calendar will help treat and rehabilitate animals who have lost their faith in humankind. And please remember an extra donation can go a long way in Bulgaria, bringing a new lease of life to these innocent creatures in need.

The calendars are £10 inc P&P UK. To order yours visit:


Please consider printing with Vale Press and see our local communities benefit even more – we have fifty staff at your service running some of the world’s finest printing presses.