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Charity calls for public to make volunteering part of their fitness scheme

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Charity’s rescue and rehoming centres call for public to make volunteering part of their fitness scheme

Britain’s largest horse rescue and rehoming charity, World Horse Welfare, is highlighting the fitness benefits of volunteering at its four centres with helpers needed for a host of activities from pony power walking to gardening and maintenance.

As part of Volunteers’ Week, World Horse Welfare is on the hunt for people to give a helping hoof and support the charity by offering their free time at the centres and simultaneously burning off a few calories. Each centre’s extensive grounds require a lot of maintenance to ensure they remain safe and tidy for staff, horses and visitors, whilst the resident Shetland ponies are looking for volunteer power walking partners to keep them trim.

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The Shetland ponies’ personal trainer, otherwise known as the vet, recommends at least half an hour of brisk walking every day, and as they are too small to be ridden they are reliant on workout partners to take them out on the farm’s tracks in order to maintain tip-top condition.

World Horse Welfare’s Manager of its Norfolk-based Rescue and Rehoming Centre, Sue Hodgkins said: “We are reliant on our wonderful volunteers to support our staff in a range of activities, and so devote more of our resources to helping horses in the UK and internationally.

“We are sure there will be plenty of applicants to assist in the Shetland ponies’ workout programmes but we are also really in need of people to assist with maintenance around our farms, setting up for our events, manning trade stands and helping at our Horse & Country Fayre which takes place in July. There are also volunteer opportunities at the charity’s head office in Snetterton, Norfolk and at its three other centres in Lancashire, Aberdeenshire and Somerset.

“Volunteering with us is a fantastic way to get out in the fresh air, burn off some calories and most importantly support us in helping improve the lives of as many horses and ponies as we can.”

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Fitness instructor, Carrie Harvey, said: “There are many physical and psychological benefits associated with regular participation in physical activity, for example a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, weight management and improved quality of life (by enhancing psychological well-being and improving physical function).

“Power walking is a great form of physical activity so getting out in the fresh air and power walking with ponies would be a fantastic way to improve your fitness, whilst helping out a local charity!”

If you are interested in volunteering at World Horse Welfare or can offer your time in any other way then please visit: www.worldhorsewelfare.org/Volunteer-with-us

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