Lottery winners pitch in to transform equine therapy charity's yard
A group of National Lottery winners who won combined prizes worth more than £20 million have given up their time to help transform the premises of an equine therapy charity.
The founder of Leicestershire-based The Way of the Horse said she was lost for words after an “army” of 24 lottery winners from across the Midlands turned out to help with painting, planting, new fencing, and the creation of a new workspace in one of the charity’s barns.
The not-for-profit organisation, located near Broughton Astley, uses 10 horses to provide self-help programmes for individuals who have experienced trauma, including NHS staff seeking help during the Covid pandemic.
The programme of improvements took place after a call for assistance from charity volunteer Terri Picton-Clark, from nearby Lutterworth, who won a £1 million Lotto prize with her husband in January.
The 69-year-old has worked for the charity since 2019 and issued a post-2021 lockdown plea for fellow National Lottery winners to help transform the site.
The Way of the Horse founder Dina Shale, who wanted to help others after suffering childhood trauma and being treated by an equine psychotherapist in the US, studied and trained in the discipline before setting up the charity in 2015.
Dina said: “I am lost for words. The amount of work undertaken today by this group of National Lottery winners has been amazing.
“I can’t thank them enough. In just one day they have transformed a working farm into a colourful, warm and welcoming environment which will have such a positive and therapeutic effect on those who visit us.
“When Terri told me she had arranged for her new National Lottery friends to visit I didn’t realise she had raised an army. The effort everyone put into their tasks was amazing and genuinely inspirational.
“It brought tears to my eyes. I don’t have enough words other than simply thank you!”
Terri added: “If you don’t ask, you don’t get, so I came up with the idea of a makeover for our farmyard and now we have new driveway and entrance fencing and all our buildings have been painted including containers, barns and stables.
“It’s amazing to see these people just come together and give something back.”
The Way of the Horse has also received National Lottery Community Fund grants, totalling more than £265,000, to help it provide courses and help to its service users.