Hoofbeats Sanctuary, a non-profit making charity that survives on donations and volunteers alone, made the heart-breaking decision earlier on in the year to cancel all of its fundraising events for the foreseeable future due to coronavirus, despite them being key to the survival of the small charity.
The virus came as Hoofbeats had just been announced as Plympton Cricket Club’s charity of the year. As the sanctuary relies on donations to continue to help equines in need, the support of local groups and organisations is “priceless” according to the charity’s founder, Sharon Vieira.
Explaining the “unavoidable effects of coronavirus”, the sanctuary took to social media back in March to explain how: “when Hoofbeats takes on horses and ponies, they forever remain our responsibility. Sadly, some of our adopted horses and ponies have already been returned to our care due to the unavoidable effects of Coronavirus. This, on top of decreasing donations and cancelled fundraising events means that we are in desperate need of support.”
Thankfully, lockdown restrictions eased enough in late August to allow the Cricket Club to host their annual charity day, which saw a slightly modified approach for covid but still raised a fantastic £1065.
Speaking of the day, Plympton Cricket Club Chairman Jon Goulder said: “The club has been delighted to support Hoofbeats as its charity this season; we like to support a local charity each year which one of our members is passionate about. Amber (a Hoofbeats volunteer) came forward and helped to organise one of the best attended charity days the club has seen for many years. We have established a great rapport with the Hoofbeats team and look forward to working with them again in the future.”
With winter now looming, Hoofbeats is set to face a bill for winter hay provisions that can cost the charity thousands of pounds a year. A bale of hay costs the sanctuary £35, and will last one pony one month. The charity’s founder, Sharon Vieira shared: “Winter is the most difficult time of year for us even in normal circumstances, and so we often fundraise throughout the year to help us prepare for our large winter costs. Having not been able to fundraise as much as we’d hoped this year due to coronavirus, the support of Plympton Cricket Club couldn’t have come at a better time. We are so grateful to them for their help in recouping some of the funds that have been affected by covid 19.”
To find out more about the work of Hoofbeats, please visit www.hoofbeats.org.uk, or follow their Facebook page for updates at www.facebook.com/teamhoof/ . The charity are also looking fundraising volunteers – if you are interested, please contact them via Facebook.