A LITTLE donkey who touched the hearts of Saddleworth animal lovers has proved the catalyst for a pilot project to help transform lives of young people throughout Greater Manchester.
A charity music night at the Reclamation Room, Uppermill raised more than £1,500 towards The Haven in Greenfield, which Red and his equine pals call home.
Red was destined for a European slaughterhouse until rescued by Helen and Matthew Brennand.
Now the couple’s act of kindness has been rewarded and recognised by an unlikely source while Red’s confidence is growing daily.
“He’s interacting with people more confidently and through the holistic approach to his care and nutrition his energy and health improve daily,” explained Helen.
“He is now confident about leaving the yard for walks and especially likes to meander down to Donkeystone brewery.”
Among the audience at Red’s fundraiser was Manchester City councillor Carmine Grimshaw.
Helen said: “Carmine had heard about Red and came along with items to auction.
“He brought a great energy to the evening and we found out we had much in common.
“He was so impressed with the young bands and how they had supported the evening.
“Carmine is also ambassador to Dr Robina Shah, High Sheriff of Greater Manchester and they value highly young people and how they enrich the community.
“He spoke so highly of them to Robina after the event that Emma Sykes, author of Making Waves, and Amber Lane-McIvor and Jake Blythe (two thirds of Mossley based Ambiere) have been invited to perform at the next High Sheriff Event In February.
“The Haven is also, because of Carmine’s belief and support in our work, forging links with Manchester City Council and Manchester Libraries.”
Helen has also been invited to be ambassador to the High Sheriff while The Haven is collaborating with Creative Locations Publishing (Saddleworth) and Sacred Stories Publishing and Media (USA) to offer ‘life writing’ publishing opportunities for young authors in a pilot promotion in Manchester aimed towards young people of all backgrounds.
“We hope with our new connections we can achieve the goal of giving our young people a voice through the creative means of writing,” said Helen.
“What a difference a donkey makes!”