In 1983 we had the coldest winter for 20 years and the headlines were not about the weather but the Rainham marsh ponies and cobs being abandoned by their owners. A local doctor’s receptionist and her husband (Paula and Ernie Clark) decided to take action and so the Sanctuary was formed.
To start with they managed to get half an acre of land in Pitsea, with the view of nursing and then fostering out the animals. The first horse they fostered out was not well treated by his new owners and ended up back in the sanctuary, so they vowed that the animals would have a home for life.
As the size of the sanctuary grew, they had to move and went to Langdon Hills. When they grew again and needed more space, they put the word out that land was needed. Tesco’s kindly offered the land in Brentwood for a peppercorn rent and this is where the sanctuary now runs. Both Paula and Eric have helped many animals over the years and were awarded MBE’s. Sadly, these founders have since passed away but their legacy continues under the guidance of 5 trustees (one of whom is their son) who continue this wonderful work today.
Hopefield rescues all kinds of animals from horses, farm animals, to alpacas, reindeer, exotic animals and reptiles. They are open to the public which generates some funds but they reply on donations generously given for our community sanctuary.
If you would like to know more, please visit their website https://hopefield.org.uk/our-story
To support this charity please donate in the following ways:
- Giving a cheque to St Andrew’s parish payable to ‘Hornchurch PCC’ clearly mark on the reverse as ‘Charity of the Month Hopefield Animal Sanctuary’, which we will then collect together and send as donations at the end of the month.
- Give direct to the charity via their website using this link https://hopefield.org.uk/help