When her pony Kenco needed a haircut, keen horserider Lola Dymock decided to create a special tribute to hospital staff working hard throughout the coronavirus crisis by getting the letters NHS and a love heart shaved into Kenco’s side.
Kenco is often used by the Royal Artillery Equestrian Centre at Thorney Island military barracks in Emsworth, which is a charity providing accessible opportunities for physical and mental wellness for serving personnel, veterans and the local community.
Lola’s mum Joanna Bowden is a senior instructor at the centre, so it seemed like the perfect gesture to thank the NHS and raise some awareness of the charity’s needs at the moment.
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When Lola asked to put a heart and NHS on Kenco, her mum thought it was a great idea so they went ahead.
Retired Major Sue Wilkinson, volunteer general manager of the centre, said: ‘The NHS are keeping us safe and well so let’s do our little bit as well as a thank you.
‘All we are doing at the moment is looking after our equines, we’re not eligible for any grants.
‘We’re trying to raise £1,000 to keep the care of the horses going. Even though we’re closed we still need to look after the horses.’
Last year, the Royal Artillery Equestrian Centre was presented with the Riding Club of the Year 2019 at the Horse and Hound awards ceremony for its hard work providing accessible lessons and therapy.
With the centre completely shut due to the coronavirus situation, they have lost 70 per cent of their income and so are looking to the community for support at this time.
In the first 24 hours, kind donations added up to more than £400 on their Just Giving page at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/raecti-support.
The money raised will be put towards their feed, ongoing farrier and veterinary needs.