Most organisations have felt the effect of Covid-19 and lockdown – not just on health and on businesses, but the impact on the not-for-profit sector’s ability to deliver services has been devastating. Closure has been on the horizon for many.
RDA UK (Riding for the Disabled Association) has been collaborating with Sport England to help individual RDA charities combat those challenges over the past two years. The time has been stressful, tough on the people trying to cope and has severely restricted opportunities to raise sufficient funds to keep services going.
Greenwood RDA in Nottinghamshire was one such charity affected. Formerly Woodside Farm Stables RDA, the charity had recently relocated to Eastfield Farm, King’s Clipstone when lockdown struck. A host of new volunteers had been recruited with expansion in mind, only to be discouraged when the charity could not harness their enthusiasm to get started.
A spokesman for the charity said: “Our horses still needed to be fed and cared for, whether working or not. Our problems were further influenced by key experienced volunteers needing to prioritise personal family care commitments.
“All this limited our ability to deliver riding sessions safely. Our disabled riders lost out on their essential exercise and therapy. Interest in what we could offer was growing and we were obliged to manage a waiting list, but costs were increasing whilst income was down.
“The future did not look bright until Sport England and RDA via the Together Fund answered our plea for help from their Hardship Fund. Their grant of £9,698.50 averted closure and will ensure operating costs from April to end July giving a much-needed breathing space.”
Hope has been rekindled for youngsters in receipt of Greenwood RDA’s services. Coaches are creative in the sessions they plan and can work with schools to include most areas of the national curriculum. Find out more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.