19/10/2010 The Horse Trust Welcomes Volunteers From Marks and Spencer at their Sanctuary

Buckinghamshire charity The Horse Trust played host to two employees from Marks and Spencer last week, who swapped a day's work at their busy London office for the peace and tranquility of the Chiltern Hills.

Sarah Lambert, a Personal Assistant, and Julie Taylor, an Analyst, chose to come and spend a day volunteering at The Horse Trust's sanctuary in Speen, Buckinghamshire, as part of the company's "Plan A" Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) plan.  Plan A encourages employees to take an annual day's paid leave to volunteer for a registered charity of their choice. 

Julie has recently started riding again after a riding accident 11 years ago and now enjoys hacking out her cousin's 12.2hh pony Scampie, whilst Sarah has ridden since she was young and competed in local cross country and show jumping events.

"We both love horses and wanted to spend our day volunteering for a horse charity" said Sarah.  "We spent hours scouring the internet for our perfect volunteer day," added Julie.  They arrived bursting with enthusiasm for a day's work with the horses - very different from their roles in the Employee Relations Reward Department at Marks and Spencer.

Arriving at 7.30am, the girls set to work helping to muck out the stables, feed the horses in the fields and administer the early morning medications that many of the horses require. After a quick break, they bedded down the field shelters in the paddocks. They finished the day poo-picking the donkey and Shetland paddock and checking the horses in one of the larger fields.

 “I had no idea there was such a wonderful place for horses to come when their working days are over,” said Sarah. "There are many different types of retired horses at the sanctuary who have spent their lives serving their communities. Knowing that they can come to a fantastic sanctuary like this to live out their days is such a brilliant ending for them."

Sarah and Julie are hoping to come back to volunteer for The Horse Trust again in their spare time.

The Horse Trust were delighted with the efforts of both volunteers. "Caring for our horses is hard work and both Sarah and Julie were enthusiastic and got stuck in to all the jobs we asked them to do," said Susan Lewis, Marketing Manager at The Horse Trust. "We are really grateful for their help and would like to thank Marks and Spencer for allowing them to volunteer here for the day."
 
The Horse Trust is always looking for volunteers to help out in their stables or office and welcomes approaches from companies who wish to discuss partnership opportunities such as volunteering or sponsorship.

People can volunteer at The Horse Trust on any day of the week (Monday - Sunday) and any time between 730am and 430pm. However, there is particular need for volunteers to help between 2 and 4pm when the sanctuary is open to visitors. 

For more information about volunteering at The Horse Trust, or for a volunteer application form, contact The Horse Trust on 01494 488 464 or info@horsetrust.org.uk

Marks and Spencer's Plan A set outs 180 commitments to achieve by 2015, with the ultimate goal of becoming the world’s most sustainable major retailer.  Working with their customers and suppliers to combat climate change, reduce waste, use sustainable raw materials, trade ethically and help customers to lead healthier lifestyles.