We spoke to Leonnie, the Sanctuary Manager, at Hope Pastures recently as we were keen to know how the charity had coped with the pressures of lockdown. Here's what she had to say... "It’s so hard to believe we are already halfway through 2020! It has been a difficult year with lockdown seriously affecting our fundraising efforts and bringing to a complete halt any income-generating events on-site. We have however still been maintaining our welfare work and helping to give equines a chance at a better life. We are really proud to say that so far this year we have re-homed twenty-two horses and ponies."
"Humphrey, Ernie, Timmy, Rod, Oreo, William, Blossom, Minnie, Tom, Dusty, Snowy, Flint, Winnie, Tino, Belle, Bonnie, Maisey, Logan, Tatting, Pearl, Cherish and Star have all been placed in loan homes this year, meaning that they are in homes where they will be loved and cherished as part of a family." "Re-homing healthy animals also frees up space on site so that we have room for those ponies that are in need of help to come through our gates. We are doing our best to try and find alternative ways of raising income and donations of tack and rider clothing are always welcome, as are adoptions of our animals and our two new stable supporters and donkey club, (a £12 per month standing order for the minimum of 1 year)."
"We are also selling our knitted ponies as mascots to help raise funds - if anyone would like to purchase one - they are made by volunteers and all proceeds go towards our work."
"We managed to get a slot on BBC1’s Countryfile which was a great way to showcase the charity, but we are still in need of donations during this difficult time."
"Our fairs and events are a major income source for us, and the pony birthday parties and activity days generate a regular income and due to social distancing, none of this can be done at this time and possibly not this year."
"We have changed some of our activities to offer smaller group experiences so please check out our website for what we can now offer safely."
"Despite all the uncertainty, the welfare calls keep coming and the requests to help with rehoming still come in, and it is vital that a small independent charity like ourselves are around to help and assist with equine welfare and getting animals into a place of safety. Thanks to everyone who has helped towards our work or offered a Hope Pastures pony a great home!"
You can find the knitted ponies for sale in our Selby store. Don't forget, we are still operating as a 'drop off' point for any tack donations for the Hope Pastures. This can be anything that the charity can sell at one of their tack sales. Hopefully, these will be up and running again soon.
Pictured at the top is Sandy the donkey and Rosie the pony.