SINCE the formation of the Redwings charity 40 years ago, over 5,500 rescued horses, ponies and donkeys have found safety in the Sanctuary, as well as countless others who have been helped in their homes through the outreach work of field officers and welfare team.
Redwings has a sanctuary at Tidenham Chase near Chepstow, having merged with the Society for the Welfare of Horses and Ponies (SWHP) based in Sat Maughan’s some six years ago.
Currently the charity is responsible for over 2,000 horses and donkeys, including more than 700 rehomed to loving Guardian homes.
Redwings’ headquarters remains in Norfolk, with nationwide sanctuary sites in Essex, Warwickshire, Gloucestershire near Chepstow and Forfar in Scotland.
Redwings is planning a year of events to mark the milestone, kicking off celebrations by inviting supporters to take part in The Great Big Ruby Tea Party on Wednesday 24th April.
Taking place at three of the charity’s visitor centres - Redwings Caldecott and Redwings Aylsham, both in Norfolk, and Redwings Oxhill in Warwickshire - there will be an exclusive opportunity for supporters to enjoy a delicious selection of treats.
There will be three sittings throughout the day, each with their own unique menus; brunch at 10am – 11.30am, lunch at 12pm – 1.30pm and afternoon tea at 2pm – 3.30pm. All dietary requirements can be catered for upon request. Tickets cost £20 per person and can be purchased at redwings.org.uk/rubyanniversary or by calling 01508 505246.
The charity has also developed a free online resource pack, including bunting and posters, for supporters to host their own fundraising Great Big Ruby Tea Party at home, available to download at redwings.org.uk/rubyanniversary.
Those celebrating at home can also purchase special Tea & Treats boxes, priced at £20 for one person or £40 for two, to be delivered by post, full of local tasty produce including Norfolk Tea, Redwings’ exclusive Ruby Anniversary jam, marmalade and chutney, and shortbread.
Redwings CEO, Lynn Cutress, said: “We are delighted to mark 40 years of Redwings helping horses and donkeys. We’ve grown a lot in that time, but something that hasn’t changed is our supporters’ kindness and dedication. As a charity, 100% funded by public donations, it is therefore only right that we invite everyone to join us for a year of celebrations!
“Whether you can join us in person, or take part from home, all proceeds from The Great Big Ruby Tea Party, and all our anniversary events, will go towards the care of our rescued residents, helping raise funds for the next 40 years of Redwings too!”
Redwings will be holding more events throughout the anniversary year including their first ever Book Festival at Redwings Caldecott on Saturday 18th May. The day will feature a host of talks and panels from authors, including TV personality and Master Saddle Maker Suzie Fletcher, author of the Ruth Galloway novels Elly Griffiths, renowned children’s author Joyce Dunbar and more.
The season of events will culminate with a ‘Behind-the scenes’ tour of the Sanctuary’s headquarters at Hapton in Norfolk. Not usually open to the public, the site is home to the charity’s Horse Hospital and its largest Rehoming Centre. Taking place on Saturday 21st September, the tours will showcase the care the Sanctuary offers, and places will be available to book in advance.
Information for each event, updated throughout the year, can be found at redwings.org.uk/rubyanniversary