0 comments / Posted on by Christina Jones

4th August 2016

So sorry there has been a big gap, where has this year gone !!  Like everyone else  I am sure :so much else of deadly serious and frightening stuff is also  going on in the world that sometimes it holds you back from writing about what then seems to be banal stuff. You beat yourself up about even thinking about some trivia but you know what it is also an essential part of life is to do all those basics , cleaning , food on the table , laundry , meeting up with friends , family , and new experiences. Then we or I may feel even more bad that I am spending so much time on molly coddling my own people and animals - this is a universal dilemma I am sure . Almost like the chicken and egg  which came first question ?  I don’t know the answer but yes you definitely should look after your own to the best that you can do  - this can vary widely depending upon where you live , cultural background, and value of equality between the species – if I live on a mat and eat out of a tin then I am sure I is OK for my good animal friend too until maybe one day we both win the lottery as long as I do no harm. The Gambia Horse & Donkey Trust is helping animals and their owners in often dire situations that would break your heart when you see the photos but their love and work has results.

It was a last minute run last Thursday 28th July  to take all he amazing boxes and boxes of goodies that our customers and their friends and customers had kindly donated and perfect weather that enabled me to sort it all out in piles on the Hickstead turf behind The Gambia Horse & Donkey Trust stand. Small bits , girths leather or webbing to be made into breech straps and all stirrup leathers , small saddle pads all to go to the Gambia. The remainder is sold or the very damaged and old big items sold for scrap to pay for freight charges of the needed bits. I had been leaving it late as hopefully coinciding with a good friend Di Brooks also joining us but sadly could not be there this time . Heather Armstrong who started this whole charity project and has recently won the accolades for all the sheer determination, hard work and love that has achieved so much not only for the animals but the local people connected with the animals, was manning the whole stand , answering e mails and queries late into the night and then was heading out to the Gambia on the Wednesday. I salute not only your love , fortitude but also your stamina – !

July 5th, 2016 - Huge congratulations to our Charity Director, Heather Armstrong! Today her work has been recognised by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, by being awarded a Points of Light award.


April 21st, 2016 - We are pleased to announce that Heather Armstrong was the winner in the 'Animal Charity Volunteer of the Year' category in the Petplan and ADCH Animal Charity Awards 2016.



Thank you every one who contributed  so much, so little is needed compared with the ‘need’ requirements of Uk & European family life  the main costs are the training , import costs and basic  veterinary medicines. Read next what happened  on Heather’s journey:

Facebook entry 17 hours ago

Fed up in the extreme, planned ahead, contacted the airline , got permission to carry potassium iodide for lots of horses and donkeys with EZL, got to the airport and they refused to allow it in board. They said it could go as cargo but not in my suitcase. There was no time to send it as cargo so after a lot of stress and a lot of help from a lovely lady called Sue who is The Gambia Experience rep. I had to go through passport control, back through customs ( mega queues as height of the tourist season) and off load the medicine for Garth to collect. At one stage they were saying that neither me or the suitcase could go. After racing to do all that so that I could have some clean underwear on my trip and thinking that I had missed my flight, I rechecked in to find it is delayed by several hours! Big black mark to Small Planet Airlines for going back on their agreement and causing a lot of animals to suffer and perhaps die unnecessarily .
To add insult to injury after sitting on the plane all day they said the staff had run out of hours so they couldn't fly so I am now back home and will try again tomorrow.

Lots of friends have responded , my view was :  perhaps we should all write in as they should have honoured what was said even if they had to send on a later flight - like you . your love and fortitude is amazing XX


Matilda afterwards

Read here the heart warming story of an old 'bad' donkey

he had become a problem angry and scared living on the edge of a village

SizzlerSizzler afterwards






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