When BHS staff were asked about their shining star volunteers, one name kept coming up.
For anyone who meets Welfare Officer Ellie Griffiths, it’s easy to see why she really is a true inspiration and totally committed to supporting people to improve horse welfare across Wales.
From educating owners to bringing rafts of supplies to horses stranded by flooding, Ellie’s dedication has shone through in all her work.
Here’s her story:
“I see my role as advice, education and importantly help. I always try to offer some practical support; showing an owner how to poultice a hoof, pulling Ragwort in fields and I’ve even offered to help clear a stable that was feet high in soiled bedding.
“Getting to know owners is the easiest way of giving advice that sticks.
“I’ve loved horses for so many years that I thought that I could do a little to help the horses with poor owners, and the owners with poor horses. I love to meet people, and I try to improve the lives of the horses.
“Every new case is a challenge – sometimes the challenge is just finding the horse, and every case is different.
“There is obviously the bad side of the role, where horses are cruelly treated or neglected and these can be worrying, but there is a huge lift when I see conditions improve.
“Just by talking to people and offering to help them I can make a difference.”
When asked what her biggest achievement was, Ellie found it difficult to choose, as she’s done so much!
“Working with other agencies and building up relationships with local authorities and other charities has been a big achievement.
“But I get a real sense of achievement when owners take my advice, just this week someone said to me you have given me the push to change and that is just what I needed.”
If you’re inspired by Ellie’s story, maybe volunteering as a Welfare Officer is for you. Ellie has some words of wisdom for anyone thinking of joining the team:
“Welfare volunteering is challenging and sometimes frustrating, but always interesting and possibly one of the most emotionally rewarding activities that I’ve undertaken.”
So if you are thinking about volunteering, do it! The British Horse Society has a sound network of support for all their volunteers.
If you love horses and want to help them, volunteering with our Welfare team could open doors and bring you an amazing sense of reward. Find out how to get involved in our volunteering section.