A HELMSLEY businesswoman who has visited Uganda and Borneo over recent years to help protect the great apes is raising awareness of rescue organisations struggling due to coronavirus.

It is thought that gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees and bonobos could be susceptible to coronavirus.

With that risk, plus the stop on international travel, many of the great ape rescue and protection organisations have been unable to fundraise or welcome volunteers who would help raise vital money.

The great apes are dramatically depleting in numbers and will likely become extinct in the next 20-years due to the logging and deforestation of their habitat.

Lynn Hempsall, owner of Helmsley Traditional Sweetshop, said: “People have previously been so kind with their donations and I know in the current climate things are very tough for lots of people.

"But if anyone can spare any money, it would be so hugely appreciated – I can’t tell you what it means to the local communities and the amazing work they do."

To donate, visit ovaid.org