Welcome to the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust Website


Registered Charity No. 1096814

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What We Do


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All the Notices, Fundraisers and Appeals etc are currently ongoing, unless specified otherwise

Do you have a GHDT event or fundraiser that you would like listed on this page, and in the newsletter? If so, please contact Web Producer, Liz Serinken, with all the details!




March 17th, 2018 - We are very pleased to report that our X-Ray machine is now working. This fabulous gift, donated by BCF Technology to Vets with Horsepower, is at last fulfilling its purpose. We were unable to use it initially as we needed the right person with appropriate knowledge to set it up.

Our thanks go to Karen Pickering and Markus Wilke, two vets sponsored by the BEVA Trust, who visited us in February and were able to set it up for us. It is now fully operational and they even provided basic training for our staff on its use. A few of our patients have already benefited from it.

Now that we have our X-Ray machine running, we need to have more lead Aprons and radiological protection equipment. If anyone knows of a practice closing down, or upgrading their equipment, we would love to recycle their old equipment for them providing it is still safe to use. Please contact us at the GHDT Office.


X-Ray student
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X-Ray of foot
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March 16th, 2018 - Baby Maurice arrived as a surprise package, to one of our ex-patients, during the night and is making his presence felt.

He’s a very friendly little fellow who is interested in everything and everyone. He gets into lots of mischief with his friends Jeffrey and GK. Maurice, as well as his mum, Helen, who has become the property of GHDT, will soon be available through our sponsorship programme.


Maurice and Helen

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March 16th, 2018 - Katana, our new long term volunteer, joined us in February. Katana came to us from The Donkey Sanctuary in Devon and is using her knowledge to help train the staff to achieve the high standards that they have at the Donkey Sanctuary.

The animals with mental health issues are especially appreciating her quiet and empathetic approach to handling them. We welcome Katana and we hope she will enjoy her stay in The Gambia with us.



November 21st, 2017 - The Autumn 2017 Newsletter is now available to read and/or download.

To access the newsletter please click here.




September 25th, 2017 - Friday July 7th, 2017, was an amazing and exciting day for the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust when its director, Heather Armstrong, was given an immense honour by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons by being made an Honorary Associate.

Heather said, " I feel very honoured and privileged to be given this award and I shall treasure it. The GHDT is the total of all its parts and I feel that the people who support us and enable us to do the work that we do, the wonderful veterinary volunteers and practices who have trained our staff, fundraised for us, donated equipment and our fantastic team in The Gambia must share some of the credit."

For a tiny charity such as ours, this is an incredible honour. We would like to give our very sincere thanks to The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons for the award and to all the veterinary professionals who have assisted and supported us over the years.

To view images from the event please click here.



September 25th, 2017 - On September 17th we had the most incredible news to announce. We had just returned from The British Equine Veterinary Association Congress where our good friends and heroes, Vets with Horsepower, announced that they are giving us funds to buy an equine ambulance that will double up as a mobile clinic. This means that we can go to do our mobile clinics and bring animals back in comfort with us.

This is something we have dreamed of for so long and have never been able to afford, and we are so very excited about it. The picture (available below) is of the type of lorry we will be getting and is a "mock up" as we have only just ordered it. Vets with Horsepower are just amazing people, they are some of the best vets in the country who take time out from their very busy lives to help other people and horses and they do it through providing continual professional development to other vets all over the world. We thank them and all the wonderful people and companies, who have the vision to sponsor them, from the bottom of our hearts.

To view images please click here.

Please visit their *Facebook page and sponsor them if you can because they do so much good around the world.




February 24th, 2017 - We suddenly realised that our supporters had not seen what all the hard work and efforts for the last few years have culminated in. We now have a lovely new centre which is made up from lots of donations. Everything in it, makes me think of the good people who contributed to it and I daren't start to mention names or it would go on for ever, but to everyone who contributed to it, this is what Chris Packham saw yesterday. We have more and more patients coming in daily and our workshops and apprenticeship scheme are starting soon. This fills us with joy as this is exactly what it was built for, the people and animals of The Gambia. Photographs courtesy of Jason Florio.

New Stables
New Stables

New Hospital
New Hospital


February 24th, 2017 -The beautiful new Makasutu Centre, that you can see in the post above, represents a great deal of hard slog, tough fundraising, dedication, love and commitment from a great many people, all we had to do was to ensure that it has done them justice. So many people and efforts have gone into it, there have been so many, who have done everything from raise money, give us goods, paint , varnish, clean, scrape, build flat packs etc. it looks wonderful and it is wonderful, but so much of it has been done with help from companies like Wickes who gave us very discounted prices on the hospital and pharmacy kitchen units, the beautiful tiles in the reception which were made by a lovely talented neighbour, Claire Pavey. The bathrooms were donated by Kohler Mira bathrooms, the X-Ray machine by BCF Technology and the endoscope by Burtons. The store room is well stocked thanks to the elves and fairies from Kruuse. Vets with Horsepower, The Jean Sainsbury Animal Welfare Trust and The Elise Pilkington Trust all donated generously towards it.

The furnishings were bought very cheaply from a restaurant that was closing down and the beds were made by our watchman for 6 each. Fatou, our housekeeper, sourced the cloth for the curtains and organised the tailor. It is just amazing what can be done when every one pulls together. Someone asked me how I feel when I walk around the centre. It reminds me of all the wonderful people who have helped in so many different ways and that is reflected in the atmosphere of the place, which has a peace and calm about it.



January 27th, 2017 - Many of you will have heard of the recent problems in The Gambia, many of the youths have tried to go "the back way" and have ended up either drowning in the Mediterranean or in refugee camps in Europe. Unemployment in The Gambia is very high and the new Government faces a huge task to turn things around.

We came up with the idea of an apprenticeship scheme where unemployed youths can come and work with the GHDT and learn, then they can take their new found knowledge back to their communities to help the animals there. The cost of such a scheme would be 10 per week, 40 per month, or 480 per year, which would give a young person hope and skills which he/she could use to help his community. If you would be interested in participating in this scheme you would be given the details of the young person that you are sponsoring and would receive a report at the end of the year on his/her progress. You could even come to visit the person you sponsor.

This is really a unique way of helping both people and animals and though we know that 10 per week is a large amount of money, 480 as a fundraising target is achievable. It would be a wonderful thing to do and would give a young person hope and help with animal welfare too.

For more information about taking part in this scheme, please contact the GHDT Office.

Thank you!



Nigel Havers
Nigel Havers

John Humphrys
John Humphrys

Robert Munsch
Robert Munsch


September 20th, 2016 - We are absolutely delighted to announce that three very well known and well respected people have endorsed our work and agreed to be our patron and supporters.

Nigel Havers has very kindly agreed to be our Patron and said, "It is a privilege to be able to call myself a patron of this charity which from its very grass roots literally saves lives and benefits both human and animal lives in such a holistic way. The rest of the world take note! Nigel Havers.” We are very grateful to him for his patronage.

John Humphrys has also endorsed and supports our work, and we are extremely proud that he approves of our approach of "helping people to help themselves" It means a great deal to us to have such support.

Canadian children’s author, Robert Munsch, has also endorsed and supported our work, donating a signed copy of one of his books for a fundraiser.

We would like to give them all our very sincere thanks.



January 7th, 2016 - In April 2015, we were delighted to welcome a German charity to work with us to hold a workshop for veterinarians and veterinary assistants.

We are busy preparing for another training workshop for students from The Gambia College. This workshop will be carried out in partnership with a German charity called WTS. Welttierschutzstiftung (WTS) believes that education is the most crucial and sustainable tool to create a world in which animals are treated with respect and understanding. In co-operation with local partners, organisations and universities they aim to enhance the standards of practical veterinary treatment, surgical skills and profound veterinary knowledge, so they are the perfect partners for us. We had expected 20 students, but 50 have registered to come on the course and we are delighted at the response! It will also provide Professor Sir Horace and the youngsters some more opportunities for socializing which they love to do when we have visitors!




November 17th, 2015 - An article about Anna Saillet's work in the Gambia is featured in the November issue of Canadian magazine, Horse Sport. Many thanks to Horse Sport for featuring the work of the GHDT.

For more information please visit the magazine website *here.




October 20th, 2015 - Give someone a special gift and sponsor a horse or donkey at GHDT and help improve the lives of the horses and donkeys of the Gambia.

For details please see our Sponsor a Horse or Donkey page here.



January 14th, 2015 - Calling all vets and veterinary surgeries! Do you by any chance have any surplus vaccination syringes and needles that you no longer require? We need some for a vaccination programme we are planning to hold. As always funds are tight, which is why we are asking for your help.

If you have any questions about donating syringes or needles, please contact the GHDT Office at 01306 627568, or email Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust.

Thank you!



August 20th, 2014 - Are there any dentists around who would like a challenge? We always have a lot of exciting tooth problems to show anyone who is interested! For more information please Contact Us.

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May 2nd, 2014 - This year, 2014, we have had an influx of orphan foals, both horses and donkeys, and we are desperately in need of funds to support their ongoing costs. Each foal needs milk powder for several months, along with all the little extras such as rice bran and hay, young horse supplements, medicines, not to mention the gas to boil the kettle for the milk and fuel to pump the generator for water.

The overall cost to rear each orphan foal is about 500. This puts us in a very difficult position as the cost of raising them is almost more than the cost of buying a horse, but thankfully, we have yet to meet anyone on our staff who can bring themselves to turn their backs on these little creatures who need us so badly.

If you think you would be able to support us by raising funds to help us save these foals, whether it is a sponsored ride or run, a sponsored dog walk, a quiz, a car boot sale or a cake sale, please Contact Us for a Fundraising Pack, or alternatively make a donation on our website via Just Giving, by pressing the logo below:

Thank you.




February 24th, 2014 - The GHDT was the People's Winner in the ESMA's for "Best use of social media in Africa and Middle East".

For more information please visit the Equestrian Social Media Awards *website.

Thank you to everyone who voted!

Equestrian Social Media Awards 2014 Winner



February 15th, 2014 - In this dreadful weather we think it is time to think of happier things. Why not come to visit the beautiful Gambia and our centre?

Lawrence and Linda, two passionate animal lovers who own Makasutu and who have given us some land for the new centre, have made an incredible offer to our supporters, please see below and then begin dreaming of happier times and book!


So many of you have given your time and money to support what The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust is doing in Gambia and would no doubt like to see what’s happening with the new project in Makasutu Forest.

Why not do this and have a holiday at the same time?

Mandina River Lodges, just about twenty minutes’ walk through the forest from the new proposed new centre, has been described as ‘paradise’ by many of the guests who have stayed there.


Set on the banks of a wide salt water creek which runs into the main River Gambia, with four floating lodges, a stilted lodge over the water, three very large lodges on the edge of the forest and a grass roofed one with a terrace out into the mangrove, this is as peaceful as it gets. A bird-lovers’ heaven, and home to hundreds of different species, Mandina is a by-word for responsible tourism, working with the local communities to provide a unique experience.

May and June are wonderful months to visit Gambia, when the main tourist season has finished and before the rains come in July. It is warm and sunny and the best time of year for the wildlife who come to the area for the water. It’s practically mosquito free then as well.

Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust supporters are being offered the holiday of a lifetime for just 125 per lodge (for two people) per night with a full English breakfast and three course dinner included in the price. You would also have the services of a guide for canoe trips and forest walks.

Special rates would apply for groups of 10 to 18 (maximum) people staying for a week.

Check out the Mandina River Lodges *website and book soon.

THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH LAWRENCE and LINDA, this really is a fabulous offer.



Charity Choice September 9th, 2013 - The GHDT is now working with Charity Choice. Charity Choice is a place where charities, donors, volunteers and fundraisers can come together to help the many charities in the UK in a variety of ways. Through Charity Choice you can choose how you give and which charity you give to. They provide information on over 160,000 registered charities. This includes all charities registered in England and Wales.

So, whether you are looking to donate to the GHDT, volunteer your time or specialist skills, give your unwanted goods or leave a gift in your will, you are in the right place!

The Charity Choice donate facility is completely free for the GHDT to use, so what is donated the GHDT receives.

If you would like to show your support by making a donation, please click *HERE.




September 9th, 2013 - If you are short of ideas for that very special Christmas gift, how about a rocking donkey? My own gorgeous donkeys were the models for this little fellow "Babbi", but if you wanted one, Debbie of *Jolly Rockers, who created him, can make your donkey any colour you like. Even more exciting is that Debbie has generously agreed that a percentage of his price will go to help Donkeys in The Gambia!

Thank you so much Debbie!






Click on image to view larger version
Click on image to view larger version

Click on image to view larger version
Click on image to view larger version

Click on image to view larger version
Click on image to view larger version



July 30th, 2013 - Sometimes it is nice to know that you have purchased something in particular for a charity, so we have set up an Amazon Wish List of essential items that we need at the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust. If you are able to purchase any of the items on our list, we would be extremely grateful. These are all items that we are unable to purchase in The Gambia, so must be bought in the UK and shipped out.

To have a look at the GHDT Wish List, please click *HERE!

Thank you very much!



July 30th, 2013 - We are now registered with *Charity Flowers, which means that you can now order flowers for a loved one, and give to your favourite charity at the same time - at no extra cost to you!

Charity Flowers make beautiful bouquets of flowers and if you select GHDT as your chosen charity they donate 15% of the purchase price to us! You can order your flowers through their website, or by telephone on 0870 5300 600. Please always remember to quote 'GHDT' as your chosen charity to ensure that we receive the 15% donation.

Thank you!




May 13th, 2013 - The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust (GHDT) is aiming to open a second centre for equine welfare and education in The Gambia, to provide their services to working animals in more urban areas. The GHDT staff have worked tirelessly over the past 11 years to improve the lives of working equines and their owners and the time has come to expand their services to areas further afield.

If you would like to contribute towards this appeal, please visit the Donate page to make a contribution HERE.

A new centre is planned, to provide essential veterinary services and educational programmes about animal welfare. The new centre will house a small number of in-patients who require intensive veterinary care and the GHDT are appealing for help to fund the building of the in-patient stabling.

To erect the 10 stable building, 8000 breeze block type bricks are required. Anna Saillet of the GHDT says "The cost of labour and materials to make one brick is approximately 1, so we are asking people to collect up their loose change and donate it to 'Give a Brick'. This is the equivalent cost of a large bag of crisps, or a small snack - perhaps you could consider forgoing these things for one day, and instead use the money to purchase a brick for our new centre."

The GHDT are already running a fundraising initiative called The 333 Club to fund the other costs of the new centre, where they are looking for 300 individuals, groups or organisations to each raise 333 to reach the target of 100,000. However, the 'Give a Brick' scheme is accessible for everyone; even those who are only able to donate 1 will be helping to make a real difference to the lives of working animals in need and their poverty stricken owners. Together we can make a real difference.



May 7th, 2013 - Many thanks to the people who have sent us reflective jackets, they have been a great help. They are always in high demand in Gambia and we are always grateful to receive more.

We campaign to encourage all horse and donkey drivers to wear reflective jackets at night and to put reflectors on their carts to try and reduce the alarming accident rate for night time drivers. The uptake has been incredible and we are fast running out of reflective jackets. If you know of any companies, councils, airports, police forces, fire brigades, Rotarians who use them and who may be getting rid of their old ones, please could you tell them that we can give them a very good and useful home. Alternatively you may be able to put a notice in your local parish or community magazine for us. Such a simple thing, but it really does save lives.



November 6th, 2012 - Sam Barnes, who is a very talented pet portrait painter has offered to give 10% off any painting she does from people who mention that they came to her via The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust.

Sam's paintings are very reasonably priced and she really manages to catch the character of your pet. For more information and contact details please visit the Sam Barnes Dog Paintings *website.

Thank you so much Sam!



August 9th, 2012 - We are delighted to announce that we are now able to recycle Ink Cartridges and Toners as well as mobile phones (working and not working) to help us to raise much needed extra funds! We are able to recycle the majority of HP, Lexmark, Canon, Samsung, Dell, Kodak and Kyosera cartridges, but unfortunately we are not able to recycle cartridges from Epson and Konica. If you and/or the business that you work for would be willing to donate your used cartridges, toners or mobile phones, on behalf of the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust, please email the GHDT Office who will organise for either freepost envelopes or collection boxes to be sent out to you. All you need to do is fill up the box and then the recycling company will come and collect your donated items for free!

This is a really fantastic opportunity for us to raise some extra funds whilst also helping the environment. Please share this information with anyone you know or any businesses using these items who may be willing to donate them for us. We look forward to hearing from you!



Give a Car website

March 13th, 2012 - Have you been wondering what to do with the scrap car in your driveway? Well wonder no more – it can be transformed into cash for the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust!

We have now joined up with Giveacar, a non-profit social enterprise which collects unwanted and unused cars for charity – turning scrap into cash.

Regardless of their condition, cars are collected free-of-charge nation-wide by Giveacar then sold through an online auction or disposed of at an authorised treatment facility.

Profits from the sale are then donated to a charity of the car owner’s choice. Even if the banger is scrapped, it still nets the selected good cause around 35.

Many car owners want an easy and completely free way to get rid of their old car. Giveacar will help them to do this in a legal and environmentally friendly way.

All you have to do is go to the website and organise for '*Give a Car' to come and collect your car. Then you nominate which charity you would like to benefit from your scrap car (Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust of course!), and that is it. Simple.

To get more details and start making a difference, please visit '*Give a Car' or call the Giveacar Team on 0207 736 4242, quoting Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust as your chosen charity.

Details are also available on the Give a Car poster. You can access it **in PDF or as a zip file Download Give a Car Poster in pdf or zip format



June 11th, 2011 - For anyone wanting to go on an extra special riding holiday in Africa, we can highly recommend *Mozambique Horse Safari. Mandy and Pat go above and beyond the call of duty for their horses. To read a Guardian article about Mozambique Horse Safari, click *here.



November 9th, 2007 - We have teamed up with Justgiving.com, the UK’s leading online fundraising website, so you can donate and raise funds for the GHDT online.

Using Justgiving saves us costs and reduces our admin burden, so going online is by far the most efficient way of supporting us. It’s easy to make a single or monthly donation with a credit or debit card online:

All you need to do is click here.

Justgiving reclaims Gift Aid automatically and pays your donation directly to us at the end of every week, and the site is secure.

Justgiving also makes it easy to raise money: you can create an online fundraising page in minutes to collect donations for any sponsored event or appeal.

You can create your own for any event here.

Fundraising pages are just like paper sponsorship forms, except they’re online. Simply personalise your page with a photo and message and email the web address to all your contacts. Friends, family, work colleagues and anyone else, from anywhere in the world, can then make a donation using your page.

You can create a fundraising page for absolutely anything. You could get sponsored to run, swim, cycle, get fit, grow a moustache or have your head shaved. The only limit is your imagination.

If you have any questions, or need any help, you can contact the Justgiving helpdesk on 0845 021 2110 or email Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm.

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*** Please note, the online E-News updates mailing list is in addition to the hard copy newsletter. The hard copy newsletter only comes out a couple of times a year, but with the online E-News updates mailing list, members receive ongoing updates as news is added to the website, so it's a great way to stay informed.

There is no fee to join the E-News updates email group and the details you provide will not be passed on to a third party.

If you have any questions, or if you're not sure if you're already a member, please contact Liz Serinken for help.



The GHDT is now fundraising with eBay for Charity - visit our 'About My Charity' *Page. Details are also available on our 'How You Can Help' page.



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This page was updated on Friday, March 23, 2018

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