#CoronaChronicles: Week Three

Our latest edition of the #CoronaChronicles comes a little earlier this week due to the Easter weekend, but – of course – there will be no break for the hard-working teams at our Sanctuary sites.

While we are already seeing an impact on our staffing levels, equine supplies and fundraising, our priority is, and will always be, to ensure that every one of our horses and donkeys is safe, healthy and loved.

This week, we’ve launched a new appeal asking our amazing supporters to help us to ensure we have the funds we may need to face the challenges of the coming months.

Click here to donate and to find out more about how every penny really will go a long way towards helping us minimise the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Now is the time for everyone to pull together and our teams - including those who work directly with our horses and those who provide administrative support - have risen to the challenge. 

Before the Government’s restrictions on movement were introduced, a group of admin staff volunteered to be given training in basic equine care, including making haynets, cleaning out water tanks and poo-picking. (You can read about how our veterinary equine care teams are adapting their practices in previous editions of the #CoronaChronicles.)

This was so we had extra members of staff we could call upon in case any of our equine carers needed to self-isolate. See below a short film about James, who works in our Finance team, explaining why he volunteered to help out.

To support the admin staff in their new roles, our equine care teams have been placing name tags in the manes of horses who need feeds or medication so they are easily identifiable for those who are not as familiar with our herds (see image below).

Technology is also being utilised to help with communication while we all adhere to social distancing. Now our vets have reduced their workload to emergency cases only, our equine carers have been using mobile apps to share films and photographs of any horses with a suspected health issue to help our vets remotely diagnose what the problem may be. That way, our vets are cutting back on travel and reducing the amount of time they spend at our sites.

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Pearl is one of the ponies with a name tag in her mane.

Where we can, we also want to show our support for those amazing key workers in our health and care services. This week, now we've suspended all routine surgical procedures in our Horse Hospital, we've donated half our oxygen tanks for use in NHS hospitals. This means the oxygen can be used to help patients fighting Covid-19, while we have retained enough tanks to be able to act if we need to perform any emergency surgery over the next few weeks. Well done team!

Our supporters have also continued to think of us! Thank you very much to Mr Thompson and Ms Bowie, who live locally to our Mountains Visitor Centre in Angus, Scotland, who dropped off 30 bales of donated hay for our horses. We’re incredibly grateful!

Thank you to everyone for your continued kind wishes at this challenging time. We hope you all have an enjoyable and safe Easter weekend.