Police volunteer treks 50 miles on horseback to help poorly children
PUBLISHED: 12:15 07 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:16 07 November 2018
A police volunteer has ridden 50 miles through Suffolk on her beloved horse to raise funds for sick children – five years on from being diagnosed with a spinal cord tumour.
Sarah Hills and her horse Robbie set out on a 50-mile ride from Shadingfield on Monday October 22, trotting through Southwold, Dunwich, Minsmere, Rendlesham Forest and Tunstall, before finishing at police headquarters in Martlesham Heath three days later on Thursday, October 25.
Since completing her challenge, she has so far managed to raise over £800 of her £1,000 target for the charity Together for Short Lives – supporting children and families affected by illness and life-limiting conditions.
It comes five years after the police volunteer was diagnosed with a spinal cord tumour, at the same time Robbie was suffering from injuries. Ms Hills said she was keen to get back on the road as soon as the pair recovered.
She said: “I got diagnosed with a spinal cord tumour back in 2013 and Robbie had also had some injuries at the same time so I decided, after I got him a bit fit again and after I realised I was going to be okay that actually, it would be nice to do some challenges and do something that is giving back a bit to others.”
She said her role as a volunteer along with her friend Kate, who joined her for the first leg of the charity trek, inspired her to take on the route.
“I cover this route for the rural crime team and as a volunteer on horseback and it was ideal because it covered all of the Suffolk coastal lines which are really popular, especially at this time of year,” she said.
Ms Hills decided to get involved with volunteering back in 2014, when she spied a leaflet at the Suffolk Show. Her role means while she is out riding Robbie, she supports the force by becoming the “eyes and ears” of the community.
She said; “I needed to get Robbie into some work and our showing and dressage days were over so I applied and it was a nice focus for me. It gave me a focus away from I guess, the negative aspects of what was going on in my life.”
Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore congratulated the pair on their “marathon hack”, adding: “Sarah is a great ambassador for the volunteer on horseback scheme and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank her, and all our volunteers, for the invaluable support they give the constabulary acting as the eyes and ears of the community.”
Donations can still be made by visiting Ms Hills’ JustGiving page.