Horsley, Bookham & Leatherhead Riding for the Disabled Association (HB&L RDA) – the life-changing charity that provides therapeutic horse riding sessions for children and young adults with disabilities – today announces that it has successfully raised the funds required to complete its new purpose-built facility at Badgers Farm, Effingham thanks to generous public support.
Responding to a growing need, the new weatherproof arena will enable more young people with disabilities to ride more of the time, and the introduction of additional accessible facilities will mean that HB&L RDA can welcome a wider range of riders and abilities.
Work is already underway on the new centre which is expected to open in the first few months of 2022.
When, in October 2020 and in response to Covid-19, the charity’s landlord sadly had to ask HB&L RDA to leave its home of more than 40 years, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity arose to build a fully accessible centre at nearby Badgers Farm. The charity launched a fundraising appeal, securing support from equestrian and eight-time Paralympic champion Sophie Christiansen CBE, and thanks to the generosity of the National Lottery and a number of Trusts, Foundations and individuals, raised 80% of the £664k required to build its new home.
Facing a shortfall of £100k, in August 2021 HB&L RDA launched a crowding funding campaign to ‘Raise the Roof’, and following an extraordinary response from the local community, including donations from The Kelsey Trust and locally-based business, ICE, the target has been met and the project is now set to be completed.
Sheri Johnson, Chair of Horsley, Bookham & Leatherhead RDA, said:
“I want to convey heartfelt thanks to everyone who has supported our campaign. Never has there been such demand for our services and now, together, we can support the physical and mental health of more young people with disabilities.”
“Once completed, our fully accessible facility will mean that 180 disabled young people can have access to weekly horse riding all year round, helping them gain a sense of independence and achievement which, in turn, builds self-confidence.”
“Without you, none of this would be possible, and on behalf of everyone at HB&L RDA, a huge thank you!”
Karen, Mum of 9 year old Lance who has been riding with HB&L RDA since he was three, said:
“It is wonderful to see how the local community has pulled together and raised the additional funds. Lance and all his friends are keen to get back to riding and we can’t wait to use these amazing facilitates. They will benefit so many students for years to come.”
HB&L RDA is currently seeking volunteers to help at riding sessions. Training is provided, and further information can be found at horsleyandbookhamrda.co.uk/volunteering
For further information:
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