Fundraiser launched after pony rescue centre fire
Thousands of pounds has been raised for a pony rescue centre that was completely destroyed in a fire.
Around 30 firefighters were called to Elverra Pony Rescue on Swynnerton Road in Sturbridge, near Eccleshall, at 7.41am yesterday.
The blaze broke out due to a faulty generator.
Firefighters rescued two dogs, a dalmatian and springer spaniel, and one pony from a stable, but the inferno destroyed the whole site.
Now, generous fundraisers have helped raise more than £4,600 to replace the contents of the buildings that were destroyed.
Sheila Bailey founded the centre nine-years-ago and had 11 ponies on site when the fire broke out.
A nearby kennel raised the alarm when the blaze began and care assistant Sheila rushed from her work in Stafford when she heard about the fire.
The 71-year-old lives in a mobile home on the site, which was saved in the fire.
She said: "I was at work when I got the call, I rushed over there and couldn't get through at first.
"I was just thinking about the animals, it's all I could think about, the relief when I heard they were ok was amazing.
"There's nothing left, we've lost it all.
"Around 30 bales of hay, a new computer and printer, the stables, it's all gone.
"But it's all the things I've lost that I can't replace, the photos and rosettes from my time over the years working with horses, these can't be replaced.
"If it wasn't for the kennel over the road calling the fire service so quickly, I could have lost a lot more, including my home and transport."
Sheila now faces an anxious wait for the insurance money to come through and cover the cost of the buildings.
But in the meantime, the community have rallied around her and raised thousands of pounds to help replace the contents of the stables.
Sheila added: "Our priority right now is to get some storage - people have been so kind donating us equipment and food, and now we need a place to store it - anything, like a container or shed, would be a great help.
"It's fantastic, the response from people donating has been amazing, it gives you faith in people.
"It will help us replace a lot of the stuff we've lost, alongside the insurance money.
"We're now looking to rebuild everything and make it better than before, and make the next 10 years even better than the last."
People can donate to the company by visiting https://bit.ly/31xLy6w.