Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Girl, three, foregoes birthday presents to raise money for charity

Girl, three, foregoes birthday presents to raise money for charity

A GIRL raised £335 for charity by asking her friends to donate money instead of giving her birthday presents.

Georgina Thrustle, three, from Peppard, donated the money to Wyfold Riding for the Disabled Association as her mother is keen horse rider and she has started to learn herself.

About 30 children attended her birthday party at Peppard war memorial hall, which featured a performance by children’s entertainer Bertie Slippers.

Georgina, who lives with her parents Ian and Tracey, brother Austin, four, and their Irish terrier Padda, has been having lessons at the Learn With Smartie riding school in Russell’s Water.

Mrs Thrustle said: “She really loves horses as Learn With Smartie teaches you all about the animals and not just riding.

“She’s a bit young to fully understand it but we’re introducing her to the idea of giving and helping others from an early stage so that it becomes part of her outlook on life.

“We also thought it would be nice to support something within our community. On the party invitation we asked people to give money instead of presents and the response was pretty remarkable. People were very generous.”

In March, Austin raised more than £1,000 for the Helen and Douglas House hospice at a joint birthday party with two friends.

Mrs Thrustle said: “Children get so many presents at these parties, especially as it’s customary to invite all your friends at such a young age, and you end up coming home with far more than you need.

“They don’t realise how lucky they are. We don’t want the children to be spoiled and want them to appreciate the things they have.

“It makes it easier for everyone when they don’t feel obliged to go round looking for presents and you feel like you’re making a positive difference to the world instead of harming the environment with lots of unnecessary plastic.”

Wyfold Riding for the Disabled Association provides riding facilities to people with mental and physical disabilities in the South Oxfordshire and Reading area. It is run by a team of volunteers and needs more than £40,000 a year to look after its seven horses and ponies as well as equipment such as carriages for the more severely disabled.

The family visited its Kingwood centre to hand over the money and Georgina and Austin were able to stroke the animals.

Gill Rushworth, fund-raising co-ordinator, said: “It was wonderful to meet Georgina and her family and to have such a young and enthusiastic supporter. It is our combined love of horses that brings us all together.”

For more information about the charity, visit www.wyfoldrda.org.uk

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