She even dedicated her award to the animals.
Working with Egypt Equine Aid (EEA) to rescue Egyptian horses and donkeys since 2014, Helen Renshaw, 53, was presented with an International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) ‘Volunteer of the Year’ Animal Action Award.
The awards are hosted annually at the House of Lords in Central London to recognize and celebrate extraordinary global efforts in animal welfare. Having grown up caring for horses in Yorkshire, UK, Renshaw saw an opportunity to make a difference when she first visited EEA five years ago. Since then, she has become one of the charity's most ardent volunteers.
“For 5 years, I have collected supporters’ donations for the charity and have stored them in my home. I then get those supplies out to EEA either transporting them myself with the help of family or friends - and/or anyone who happens to be travelling to visit EEA,” Renshaw posted on Facebook. “I'd like to dedicate the award to [founder] Jill Barton and team EEA in particular Mahmoud Saber who are on the frontline day after day. Their work ethic, their standards and focus is pivotal to the success of this fantastic charity.” She also dedicated her award “for the animals”.
Established in 2014, EEA runs a free veterinary clinic in Abu Sir, a rural area between Giza and Saqqara. Vets can be hard to find there, and even when one is available, the people who need their services the most aren't always able to afford them. To fight this problem, the clinic was built in Abu Sir, where working horses and donkeys are brought in to get the medical attention they need at no cost.
“EEA have a vision that one day there will be better animal welfare in Egypt and they are truly instrumental in building those foundations with their bare hands brick by brick,” Renshaw wrote. The charity also strives to educate people on the care of equines whenever possible. EEA offers a 10-week training programme to help horse owners learn how to best care for their animals.
The clinic also invites school groups to see how it's run, assist the vets with their operations in a controlled environment and learn first-hand the importance of compassion. Higher education is also a priority; local veterinary college students are encouraged to volunteer at the clinic. While the vets-in-training learn a lot about veterinary care in the classroom, EEA provides an opportunity in which they can gain practical experience in the field.
The charity has treated over 2,900 horses in its clinic since it started operations, and it was all in no small part due to Helen's dedication and care. If you'd like to learn more about EEA and how to donate and volunteer, check out egyptequineaid.org.