Meet Little Alpha, a miniature Shetland pony that makes people stuck in Leighton, Yorkshire happy.
Little Alf, who is only 28 centimetres tall, and his owner Hannah Russell, 23, helped vulnerable people who were unable to leave their homes during an outbreak of the coronavirus in the United Kingdom.
The charming pony has become a local celebrity and has recruited thousands of fans to Instagram since its adoption by entrepreneur Hannah in 2012.
Since the entry into force of the self-isolation guidelines, Little Alpha has taken on the important responsibility of supplying fresh eggs free of charge to those who do not have access to the shops themselves,
Every day, Hannah, who runs a furniture and souvenir shop in town, drives Alpha through the village to keep people isolated.
The little Alf, who is only 28 centimetres tall, delivered eggs to the elderly in the company of his owner, Hannah Russell, 23 years old (Photo: Hannah Russell / SWNS).
Hannah said: With everything that’s going on with the coronavirus and the people being forced to stay at home, I thought they could use some comfort.
I’ve been thinking: What can I do in my village to help people who are under lock and key?
There aren’t many department stores in the Yorkshire Dale, and the ones we do have have panic customers who’ve wiped out.
A local farmer produced boxes of fresh eggs, but could not deliver them to the population.
So I started taking them with me so he could spread the joy on our trips.
The eight year old Alf has become a local celebrity (Photo: Hannah Russell / SWNS)
Alpha has a legion of online fans around the world following his progress, but it is his local community that has benefited most from his beautiful little face.
Hannah adds: People love him, he gets prettier every day.
I throw eggs at people and leave them for people to pick up.
But everyone loves to see it, and people come to their windows. It’s good for people to see him spread a little happiness.
Making people happy is my job.
Hannah adopted Little Alpha when she was only 16 years old without asking her parents’ permission (Photo: Hannah Russell / SWNS).
Hannah hopes to extend the Little Alpha tour to the surrounding villages and put Cadbury Creamed Eggs in her basket so that people can have fun in addition to their basic needs.
It also hopes to start offering comprehensive care packages to vulnerable residents.
I’ve only brought people I know to the village, Hannah says.
But we plan to put together 216 packages for next week and hopefully double that.
Hannah, an animal lover, adopted Alpha 2012 after he ran into a breeder because of his unusually small size.
Hannah wants to extend the Petit Alpha tour to the surrounding villages (Photo: Hannah Russell / SWNS).
Without asking her parents’ permission, Hannah brought Alpha with her from breeding and hid him in the barn for the night when she was only 16 years old.
Hannah quickly dropped out of college when she was badly injured in a kayak accident.
She had mental problems and said that Alf, who was only seven months old at the time, had given her something to concentrate on.
Eight-year-old Alf has inspired eight children’s books and also has his own shop, magazine, YouTube channel and clothing line.
Hannah said: When he came into my life, I didn’t think it would happen. I just wanted to be a gym teacher, that’s all.
I saved him, and he saved me, Hannah said. (Photo: Hannah Russell / SWNS)
I felt pretty depressed because I had to see all my friends go to college and have fun while I was stuck behind my back at home.
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I saved him, and he saved me. He completely changed my life.
Everything I’ve done since then, my books, my stuff, everything up to Alpha.
He came to me at a time in my life when I needed to focus on something.
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