A WEST Somerset woman who has raised huge sums of money for an international welfare charity has been recognised for her volunteering work.

Leone Martin from Sampford Brett has been fundraising for Brooke since 2005, personally raising £60,000 for the charity during that time, and more than £120,000 along with her Exmoor volunteer group members.

A firm believer in the power of recycling, Leone has raised a great deal of money for Brooke by selling used tack at local shows, car boot sales and eBay.

She said: “I have very rarely thrown anything away and will match up pieces from different bridles to make a complete bridle.

“The leather from old saddles can be stripped off and sold for craft work. All the items I sell have been donated, and I am often amazed at the generosity of some people who have given very expensive saddles, new bridles, antique memorabilia, all sorts of things, often with fond memories attached, because they are keen to help support The Brooke.”

She adds: “I also sell horse-related things such as boot pulls, pictures and jewellery, and vintage hunting whips which I recondition and sell on to raise good funds for Brooke, and small stirrups are always in good demand from people who make rocking horses.”

Leone first heard about Brooke through her mother who was a dedicated Brooke supporter, before a chance meeting with Exmoor Group Leader Rita Tremain inspired her to get involved.

If you’re interested in volunteering or joining a group, email community@thebrooke.org.