|Ollie and Friends is a small, family-run business with a big heart. I’m Sharon, the founder and lead handler at Ollie and Friends. The organisation was established in memory of my son, Timmy, who suffered from Tuberous Sclerosis, a very rate and debilitating brain disease. Timmy was diagnosed at 6 weeks of age and was severely handicapped both physically and mentally. He was a very brave young man who suffered greatly throughout his short life and, although he was unable to speak, he brought pleasure to those who loved and cared for him with his amazing smile and infectious laugh.
Sadly, Timmy died at the age of 25 in July 2010. I wanted to establish something in his memory that would benefit other handicapped children and those suffering from life-limiting illnesses. Throughout Timmy’s childhood years, he received expert care from Great Ormond Street children’s hospital and they continued to provide me with support and advice right up until the day that he died. I wanted to be able to give something back to them, both to thank them for what they did for Timmy, but also to help them to continue with the fantastic work that they do. Together for Short Lives is another charity that is close to my heart and one that Timmy would have benefitted from, had he still been with us today.
For these reasons, for all private parties and fetes completed by Ollie or one of his friends, I will donate £25 of the takings or fees to one of the above charities. The remaining fees will allow Ollie and his friends to complete visits as therapy ponies to Hospices and respite care homes free of charge to help brighten the day of terminally ill or handicapped children and their families.
About The Team
I was brought up with horses and have owned and worked with them my whole life. The team also consists of my partner Alan, who has years of experience with both horses and livestock along with my daughter, Lucy, who grew up with horses and has worked with them her whole working life. She’s also worked for some high profile show jumpers. Our ponies are accompanied by a dedicated trainer who ensures that they are healthy, happy, and well-looked after during the entire event.
We take exceptionally good care of our ponies, ensuring that all of them have regular deworming, dental checks, shoeing, and all necessary vaccinations. I hold an up-to-date first-aid certificate and have completed a safeguarding course for children.