A VOLUNTEER at Parkgate Pony Sanctuary is hoping to raise £2,000 in a bid to build much-needed shelter for ponies and horses.

Holly Egan, from Parkgate, set up the Crowdfunding page to help provide much-needed shelter for the four-legged residents of the sanctuary following the poor winter weather.

So far £402 of the £2,000 target has been raised.

Holly told the Globe: “The wet and windy weather this winter caused terrible damage to our Parkgate sanctuary.

“We now have no shelter and the horses are stuck in a field knee deep in mud.

“We’re in desperate need of new fencing and shelter so we can provide a safe and secure place for our ponies so they can live the happy life they deserve.

“It also means we can continue to allow local adults and children to come visit the sanctuary and we can hold multiple events such as open days, where all can come to enjoy great food, music, stalls, pony rides and more.

“I worry all the time about them, you can’t stop thinking about the ponies. I get up every morning and help. It becomes addictive.”

Holly will also be taking part in half-marathons to raise cash for the sanctuary.

She added: “We have around 38 ponies and horses who have all been abandoned or rehabilitated and run only on volunteers and donations.

“We do a lot of applying for grants and do a lot of fundraising events but the winter months are when it hits us the hardest.

“We need to raise whatever we can to help build shelter.

“I’m hoping to take part in the Chester Half Marathon on April 29 to raise more cash and who knows what’s next.

“Some of our animals are used as therapy ponies for visiting care homes for the elderly and engaging with disabled and autistic children allowing them to ride and care for the ponies which provides a new and meaningful experience for them to enjoy.

“We also provide opportunities for local adults and children to visit our Heswall, Neston and Parkgate centres to take part in various activities such as grooming, feeding and riding our ponies, as well as occasional ‘poo picking’ which supplies us with manure to sell to raise funds.

"I'd like to thank everyone who donates personally.

"Without support we would have no food and no shelter for these horses.

"It's really intense, some are really sick horses and it can take years for them to get used to you. It's a really long process."

To donate please visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/holly-egan