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Olive Lomas

A horse welfare and fundraising warrior

No one could question her love for horses. She sacrificed everything – home, personal comfort and her pension. She lived for ten years in a Portakabin in the stables, on hand day and night to comfort and protect her rescued “family.” Such authentic, uncontrived dedication encourages public response. People who live and breathe for a cause they truly believe in often divide public opinion.She did not have great equine experience and certainly no qualifications. Some people with such experience and qualifications have questioned her methods. She could be cantankerous, possessive, and her over-sentimentality may have got in the way of stricter professional management. But without Olive, the sanctuary has suffered three years of decline and dwindling funds. It has been pushed almost to the brink of closure.

Olive was particularly successful at garnering legacies, the life-blood of the sanctuary. So by re-telling Olive’s story, we hope she will once again open hearts and minds to supporting her.

Since her death, compliance with health and safety regulations and a raft of other management issues including many operational problems, pension provision and other legal obligations, has taken precedence.

Finding the time, people and resources to plan and implement an effective fund-raising strategy has been almost impossible.

It has demanded huge endeavour to turn the sanctuary towards the prospect of a brighter future.

Our “rescued horses helping people” initiative helps to support young people sent to us on placement by The Prince’s Trust. A programme of basic horse care and handling sessions called Groom2Grow, which started in July this year, is proving to be a great success. Pilot studies with NHS Mersey Care Foundation Trust are yielding positive results. In the New Year we plan to expand the programme and enable more people to interact with our horses.

The horses benefit from this social interaction as much as humans do. Most of our animals have experienced cruelty, neglect or terror in their lives. Patience, tenderness and affection helps heals their pain and suffering.

Incredible as it maybe, horses that have been badly abused will mirror all this warmth back to the giver, once mutual trust and respect has been established. When this happens, it’s a magical experience.

In the New Year we plan to enable more people to interact with our rescued animals, but we desperately need your help to boost depleted funds to:

  • feed and care for the animals and pay for their essential veterinary needs
  • complete long overdue structural building repairs
  • upgrade electrical lighting and security cctv systems
  • modernise plumbing systems and washroom facilities for our staff and visitors
  • The sanctuary’s work has never been more valuable. Public support has never been needed more than now.

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