Charity ‘desperately’ appealing for help following Storm Arwen

  • A Scottish-based equine charity that works with vulnerable young people and military veterans is desperately appealing for help following the trail of destruction left by Storm Arwen.

    Horseback UK founders Emma and Jock Hutchinson had no power, light, heating, hot water or phone connection for six days, and a herd of 33 horses to care for.

    Significant repairs are needed to buildings and shelters as a result of the storm’s force.

    “After a tough 18 months we were thoroughly enjoying getting back to work, so to be thwarted again really tested our resilience,” said Emma.

    “The storm has done a lot of damage and we desperately need to repair or replace the field shelters for the horses. The herd is pretty tough and can cope with quite a lot but the relentless rain and wind we get can wear them down and have a negative impact on their health.

    “And when it snows, they really do need a place to shelter. These horses are part of our family and we are pulling out all the stops to get them the shelter they need as fast as possible. We desperately need donations to help pay for the materials to build and repair the shelters.”

    The charity, based in Aberdeenshire, helps veterans and vulnerable young people acquire new coping strategies, life skills and build resilience, by working with horses.

    Emma said the destruction from Storm Arwen has also led to the decision to create a “storm fund”, to help the charity weather any future unexpected challenges.

    “We get no Government or council funding, so we are completely reliant on donations,” she added.

    “It is the generosity of the public which enables us to do our work. If we could gather a new fund, it would help us to do additional practical things, like build new field shelters for the horses to protect them against wind and weather, and invest in a generator to keep the lights on.

    “But it would also act as a bulwark against unheralded events, like pandemics or shifts in the economy. We want to make sure that Horseback UK can rely on the sturdiest foundations. Whatever the literal or metaphorical weather, we need to be able to go on helping veterans with life-changing injuries, as well as the young people we work with in the local community.

    “We want to ensure that our future is stable, however unstable the external world can sometimes seem. And that is our next, dedicated mission.”

    For more information and to donate, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/horseback

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