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Armed Forces volunteers help out at The Horse Trust

Over 30 volunteers from the Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force spent a day helping out at The Horse Trust’s sanctuary in Buckinghamshire on Sunday 13 March. The Horse Trust looks after horses and ponies, providing an animal sanctuary.  They include ex-military and ex-working horses.

The 32 volunteers, from the Defence School of Medical Technical Training (DSMTT) at Keogh Barracks, Aldershot, are training to become Medics in the Armed Forces. The group of volunteers was led by Corporal Dan Batsch and Sergeant Amanda Smith, who are both instructors at the school.

The volunteers helped out with a number of maintenance tasks at The Horse Trust’s sanctuary, including painting fences, horse shelters and barns, landscaping and leaf clearance.

“We’re so grateful to the Armed Forces volunteers who gave up their Sunday to help out with these essential maintenance tasks at the sanctuary,” said Jeanette Allen, Chief Executive Officer of The Horse Trust. “It was amazing how much they managed to get done in just one day. We simply do not have the staffing or resources to do as much to maintain the estate and farm buildings as we would like, so this huge helping hand was truly magnificent. ”

Major Ashok Rao, the Officer Commanding Phase 2 Training at DSMTT said “We have encouraged voluntary work amongst the trainees as there are several benefits to all the parties concerned.  It encourages the trainees to develop their core values, which is extremely important for them at this stage of their training.  It also allows the trainees to see how selfless acts can directly benefit others.  The direct interaction with local communities allows a greater understanding of the Services and in turn greater support for the Armed Forces.”

Corporal Dan Batsch, an instructor at DSMTT, who organised the day said he wanted to help The Horse Trust because of the work it carries out with retired horses from the military. Corporal Batsch regularly rode Denzil at the Light Cavalry, a horse that recently retired to the sanctuary after 19 years service for the Army.

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