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Eight-year-old donates pocket money to help struggling equine charity

An eight-year-old girl who donated her pocket money to an equine charity hit hard by lockdown has now raised another £190.

Evie Cordwell saved up £20 given to her by her grandmother and donated it to Hope Pastures in Leeds, which like all sanctuaries has barely been able to raise any funds for the past year.

Evie dropped off the envelope last last month but did not leave her details, leading to a Facebook appeal to find and thank her.

Hope Pastures manage Leonnie Martin told H&H the past year had been “incredibly tough”.

“We’ve had a few children raising money for us but that particular young lady and her mum just handed the envelope in and we had no way of saying thank you,” she said.

“The post got such a good response, with people saying what a lovely young woman she was, and we managed to get in touch and have sent her a letter.”

Evie’s mother Lindsay told H&H Evie also adopted Hope Pastures pony Sago; it was a present from Lindsay’s mother, and asked if she could also donate the pocket money her grandmother had given her.

“She knows it’s very hard for them and she wanted to spend her money on feeding the horses,” she said. “She’s a very kind girl, who would give you her last penny. I’m very proud.”

Evie has now started a reading challenge in aid of Hope Pastures, which had raised £190 by Friday (5 February).

Leonnie said Hope Pastures is hugely grateful to all those who have supported the charity, including those taking part in its Big 30 challenge, which asks supporters to raise £30 each, £1 for each of the horses and ponies who can be kept on site.

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“We’re an incredibly small charity and when our former volunteer India Evans said she’d fundraise for us for nothing, it was brilliant. She’s been absolutely superb. We’ve had people knitting, or doing little acts of kindness; kids have really gone for it in lockdown and it’s been brilliant.”

Leonnie said with almost all the year’s events and fundraising lost, the charity is struggling, but she praised its “fantastic” supporters, including Sarah Lenton, who gives hours of her time to help.

“These acts of kindness from our supporters who give what they can afford. The kindness of our volunteers and the dedication of our staff have really kept our spirits up in what have been very trying times.”

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