The Horse Trust, the famous horse sanctuary in Buckinghamshire, has put out an urgent plea for volunteers for the busy summer season.

Based at Speen, near High Wycombe, the charity’s home of rest is a favourite attraction for horse lovers.

Over the years it has taken in hundreds of horses, including retired military horses such as those injured when the IRA bombed the Queen’s Lifeguard — a detachment of the Household Cavalry — in the early 1980s, the most famous of which was Sefton.

Yard manager, Shirley Abbott, said: “This is a great opportunity for anyone who loves being around horses.

“Volunteers are needed to help out with a variety of activities around the yard including grooming, bathing the horses, mucking out, gardening, selling ice creams and helping the general public.”

There are also office positions in welfare, fundraising and administration.

74-year old Pat Audley, who recently lost her husband Harry, said: “The staff and horses here have really helped me get over the loss of Harry. I feel calmer when I’m here.

“Volunteering for The Horse Trust is a lifeline for me. My favourite job is taking the two drum horses, Leo and Janus, out to the fields. When they get near the gate, they can’t wait to get their halters off and bound off into the fields. It’s very rewarding.”

Volunteers are needed for every day of the week (7.30am-4.30pm) but particularly between 2pm-4pm, when the sanctuary is open to the public.

All volunteers are buddied up with a Horse Trust employee to help them through the early days and are given health and safety training. You have to be at least 15 years old.

If you’d like to get involved, call Shirley on 01494 488464 or email her at