August volunteer of the month - Sandi Cole, North Yorkshire

Sandi Cole from Ripon has supported Brooke since 2006. In 2016, she took over as Group Leader of the North Yorkshire Fundraising Group and during that time has helped to raise nearly £100,000.

Sandi with Molly the black Labrador 

Sandi Cole and her group of North Yorkshire volunteers organise a variety of annual events including For the Love of Horses coffee mornings, bake sales and tombolas at local riding stables, collections and raffles at Ripon Races, and Brooke's Winter Ball, which took place in 2017 for the first time. Unfortunately this year's ball had to be postponed due to Covid-19 but Sandi said: "We already have a date for next year and a few amazing ideas to make it an evening to look forward to. And of course we are busy collecting the hundreds of raffle and money-can't-buy auction prizes we need to make it the success it is renowned for."

Sandi is particularly proud of the relationship the group has with the Blackpool and Fylde Fundraising Group and their beach donkeys, who acted as official 'greeters' at the ball. She said: "It went from a very chance meeting at Ripley Show where we were fundraising for Brooke and they were giving rides to children around the showground. They raise funds on Blackpool Beach and at many other events around the country for us. It makes it so very different, because Brooke's work is all about working animals and they are working animals. Well, they're on Blackpool Beach, so not a brick kiln by any means, but it's lovely."

It's these chance meetings that make it all worthwhile for Sandi and the other North Yorkshire Fundraising Group members, who are always on the lookout for more people to offer up their time. 

Sandi is a passionate advocate of Brooke's work, always keen to share the message with all whom she meets, that by supporting Brooke it means that they help not only the animals involved but the people who rely on them for their livelihood in some of the world's poorest communities. 

She said: "It's a lovely charity, everyone's so friendly and warm and there's no stress. You meet some really nice people and you're helping a very worthy cause."

Brooke Senior Regional Fundraising Officer Caroline Robertson said: "We would like to say a huge thank you to Sandi and the North Yorkshire group for their incredible enthusiasm. Humour, fun, innovative fundraising ideas and passion for Brooke's work sparkles and shines at every fundraising event they organise. It is a real pleasure to work with them."

Sandi and the North Yorkshire Fundraising Groups are part of a large network of volunteers fundraising for Brooke around the UK. Money raised from volunteers goes towards Brooke’s work across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, making lasting improvements to the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules and the people who depend on them.

If you’re interested in volunteering or joining a group, please email [email protected]