September volunteer of the month - Jenny Lack, Shropshire

Jenny Lack from near Ludlow, Shropshire has been a Brooke supporter for over 30 years. Jenny owns her own horse, a registered chestnut welsh cob called Glanvyrnwy Amber but her friends call her Boo!  Boo is 24 years old and is happily retired. Jenny has raised nearly £150,000 to help working horses, donkeys and mules around the world.

Jenny and her market stall

In 2009 Jenny, together with her daughter Lucy who is a veterinary surgeon, travelled to Egypt to see Brooke’s work. Jenny said: “It was a truly inspirational trip. It was fascinating to accompany Brooke-trained vets on their local rounds, particularly to the brickworks outside Cairo, emotional and heart breaking. We saw first-hand how Brooke spends the funds raised and how Brooke’s work makes a real difference to the lives of hardworking horses, donkeys and mules, and the people and communities who desperately depend on them for their livelihood. The supporter tour spurred me on to increase my fundraising efforts for Brooke”

By chance, 11 years ago, Jenny was offered a market stall on Ludlow market free of charge and has been selling items in aid of Brooke on her Monday market stall ever since. She’s always there come rain or shine and hardly ever misses a Monday! In a normal year, Jenny and her friends also hold two sales in the Market Square in Shrewsbury, and she has a stand at the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe in early August. The latter is a real mecca for Brooke supporters and a great opportunity to sell old books and original paintings. Jenny also makes distinctive cards from pressed wildflowers, which she’s been making and selling for Brooke for the last 30 years. So far, Jenny’s fundraising has raised nearly £150,000 for Brooke.

Items for her market stall are donated from a wide variety of sources, including friends and family, regular customers and house clearances. Jenny has a loyal following of customers, which include local residents, holidaymakers, fellow market traders and dealers. Jenny has many contacts who supply items for her stall, and for the more valuable items dealers who find buyers or sell at auction

Jenny can sell pretty much anything, from valuable antique jewellery worth as much as £100, to an old wheelchair that had been abandoned by its owner in a local shop. After struggling for several weeks to even give it away, the shop keepers finally thought of Jenny. Jenny sold the wheelchair on her market stall in an hour and half! Her most memorable sale involved some false teeth. The latter was a bag of eight partial dentures which a regular patron wrapped carefully and put in his Christmas crackers. At the bargain price of 50p, this was a great value practical joke for his friends, who have all been somewhat nervous of his hospitality ever since! 

In 2020, surprisingly during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jenny’s market stall has gone from strength to strength, largely because so many of us have been clearing out. These generous donations have led to some record takings including £306 in one day.

Jenny would like to thank all the people who contribute to help make her market stall so successful. If you’d like to donate items or happen to be in Ludlow on a Monday and fancy seeing what Jenny has on sale please do pop along and say hello to Jenny, her stall is right in the middle of Ludlow market and a warm welcome awaits.

Caroline Robertson, Brooke Senior Regional Fundraising Officer, said “We would like to say a huge thank you to Jenny, not just for her incredible support over the last 30 years, but for continuing to run her Monday market and fundraise in this current climate.”

Jenny is 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]