We are celebrating today after recruiting our 100th volunteer – the band of loyal helpers who make our work possible.
For the first time in our history we have reached the 100 milestone, thanks to more people than ever before hearing about our work to rescue small, weak, injured mistreated and orphaned horses and ponies throughout the region.
Volunteer Coordinator Kerri Luke said: “We are incredibly lucky to have such invaluable support from an amazing 100 people who share our passion for helping horses and ponies in need.
“We simply couldn’t achieve many of our successes, or rescue and rehome as many horses and ponies, if it wasn’t for the kindness of our loyal volunteers who give their time so generously.
“Our volunteers are dedicated to enriching the lives of our horses and ponies and we are extremely grateful to them. Volunteering provides the Sanctuary with a meaningful contribution that money simply can’t buy.”
The Sanctuary has five farms across Devon and is home to hundreds of horses and ponies needing daily care.
Kerri added: “There is always something to be done, donations to sort in the charity shops, something to be repaired at the farm, fundraising events going on and of course horses and ponies to be groomed and loved.”
Volunteering can be incredibly rewarding. Not only does it have a positive impact on us, but it also provides people with skills, builds confidence and helps people make new friends.
The Sanctuary’s 100th volunteer Luke Barbour (Pictured above) said he fell in love with horses thanks to his girlfriend Jenny Bowden, who works full time for the charity.
He said: “To be honest I didn’t know anything about horses before I met Jen but I found the whole thing fascinating. The way the grooms take wild ponies and tame and train them is amazing.
“I’m a painter and decorator by trade and I wanted to do my bit to help. There are always things that need painting around the stables. I’m also going to be repainting poles and jumps and helping out at shows. I’m really enjoying it.”
Volunteer Luke Ford, (Pictured above) struggled to work full time following a bicycle accident when he was just 12 and now helps out at the charity’s warehouse and the Newton Abbot shop.
He said: “It’s great to be working. I would advise anyone like me, who was starting to worry they may never find a job, to look into volunteering for a charity. It’s certainly given me more confidence and the Sanctuary staff have been brilliant.”
We are still looking for volunteers, especially for help with local events through the summer and at our new farm near Yelverton on Dartmoor.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for the Sanctuary visit the Ways to Help section or find out more about the work we do on Facebook at www.fb.me/mareandfoal