BUILDERS who volunteered three days of their time to build 28 desperately-needed stables for rescued horses and ponies have been thanked for their generosity.

Bosses at Accrington-based construction company Metcalfe and Jones Roofing agreed to help out much-loved Oswaldtwistle charity Only Foals and Horses after co-owner, Mark Metcalfe, was made aware of the desperate need for new stables.

And now the charity, which is currently home to 62 rescue animals, will have enough stables to house all of its residents young and old before a cold winter sets in.

Speaking about getting the builders on board, Kathryn Williams, one of the charity's six trustees, said the response to cries for help was incredible.

She said: "We put a post out on Facebook looking for some help and immediately people wanted to know what they could do - it was quite overwhelming!

"Within 24 hours Mark said he would come over with his team and dedicate three days to help us getting the stables built for free. We can't thank them enough and we want them to be recognised for this truly kind offer of help and the fantastic job they are doing."

A new board of trustees who were appointed at the start of the year have worked tirelessly to bring the charity back to its former glory after financial and managerial troubles struck following the death of founder Olive Lomas in 2013.

But a £15,000 grant from the Elise Pilkington Foundation, which was awarded to them in March, has enabled them to make some much needed changes.

Trustee Mark Pooley, who has spent the last six months dedicating all of his time to the charity, said: "We couldn't just get builders in straight away, there was a lot of ground work that needed to be done first. The main barn where the stables are being built was previously a cattle shed and work was needed to level out the ground before work could begin."

But when that work was completed, Mr Metcalfe and his business partner David Jones were more than willing to step up to the plate and offer their services.

Mr Metcalfe, who admitted they were slightly stretched due to their current work load, said: "If you can't give a bit of help for a good cause, what can you do?

"We've got loads of work on at the moment and we've temporarily halted one job for three days while we lend a hand here, but we don't mind. We try to help out here and there where we can.

The trustees are now dedicated to transforming the sanctuary into a better place for staff, visitors, volunteers, but most importantly, the horses and ponies.

Carolyn Pooley, another trustee, said: "These stables will make a huge difference to the welfare of our animals.

"They will be much bigger and more comfortable, meaning the overall welfare of all of the horses and ponies will be so much better.

"We've also recently built an indoor paddock which is not only great for working the animals but in the winter it will be great for them all to stretch their legs without having to go out into the cold muddy fields.

"We're also keen to get our eligible horses and ponies into new homes and these new facilities mean we will be able to work on a more one-on-one basis with each of them, preparing them and giving them the training they need before that happens."

If you want to see for yourself all of the work that's been going on at the sanctuary, a Halloween open day is taking place on October 28 and everybody is invited.

There will be a raffle, tombola, stalls, demonstrations and a prize for best fancy dress.

For more information and to find out how you can help, visit