Social media star adds youth voice to equine charity

Esme Higgs meets a donkey in Thies, Senegal earlier this year. Known as This Esme on social media, the 18-year-old has been named a Brooke Ambassador. © Xaume Olleros/Brooke

A young equestrian social media star has been named the latest Brooke Ambassador, with a focus on inspiring young people to get involved with the charity.

Equestrian YouTuber This Esme, famous for her horsey videos and vlogs, has supported Brooke’s MyHackathon challenge and Brooke Shop, and last autumn travelled to Senegal to see the charity’s work. Whilst there, she heard more about Brooke’s farriery and drought resilience work and broadcasted this to her combined following of more than 486K viewers on Instagram and YouTube.

Esme Higgs, 18 and from East Sussex,  said she was excited to take on the role and further her support for Brooke. “Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to visit Brooke’s work in Senegal and see the huge difference that donations make to the lives of working horses, donkeys, mules and the people who depend on them. I can’t wait to use my voice to inspire more people to get involved with Brooke and raise awareness of the vital contribution these animals make around the world.”

Esme regularly films videos about her day-to-day life looking after her two horses and three donkeys. Her appointment follows that of Yorkshire-based author Hannah Russell, who was named Ambassador – Youth Focus in early 2019.

Looking ahead, Brooke and Esme will collaborate on videos and digital content to raise awareness of the tough conditions experienced by working horses, donkeys and mules around the world today. Brooke works with owners, governments and local policymakers to make sustainable improvements to the lives of these animals and the people who depend on them.

Celebs help raise £20,000 in Christmas celebrations

Brooke Patron and newscaster Alastair Stewart, comedian Rory Bremner, presenter Jan Leeming and theatre star Jodie Prenger attended Brooke’s second annual Christmas Carol Service at the Old Royal Naval College Chapel in Greenwich in the week before Christmas.

Guests attending the service were met at the entrance by two donkeys from the Donkey Breed Society, named Pixie and Mary Poppins; a reminder of the 100 million donkeys, horses and mules working around the world today.

The service, which raised almost £20,000, included well known carols and readings by Alastair, Rory, Jan and Jodie, plus a special solo performance by classical singer Millie Underwood.

Following the service, VIP guests were invited down to the chapel’s undercroft, where they heard from Alastair, Brooke CEO Petra Ingram and the chapel’s Reverend Patricia Mann, who gave a brief history of the building dating back to its initial design by Sir Christopher Wren.

Proceeds from the afternoon on December 17 will go towards Brooke’s work around the world, making sustainable improvements to the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules, and the people who depend on them.

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