AN Alcester fundraiser has been named an animal charity’s Volunteer of the Month after three decades of support.

Pat Layton is part of a group of volunteers from Brooke’s Warwickshire, a working horse and donkey charity, and has raised £24,574 since she started supporting them in 1988.

Pat got involved with volunteering when former group leader Dolly Langton asked her to help her at the Brooke stand at The Arab Championships at Malvern. She was initially drawn to charity thanks to “a love of horses and a hatred of them being ill-treated.”

Over the years, Pat has been a key ambassador for Brooke thanks to her sales of Christmas cards and second hand items on eBay. Her stall has also been a regular fixture at The Arab Championships.

She said: “I’ve certainly met some characters at the show – an Arab sheikh who bought some Churchill books off me – his bodyguard paid over the money. A very scruffy lady said she wanted to give me a donation and pulled out a Coutts cheque book (the Queen’s bank – you have to be a millionaire to open an account there) and lots of lovely children who love my lucky dip pony Cleo.”

Pat and the Warwickshire group 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.