31st March was the financial year end for Riding for Smiles (RfS) and signified the end of their sixth year. What a difference a year makes!
The group’s income in 2020-2021 from grants and donations was £52,000, with expenditure of only £9,000 on activities in the lockdown year. During that year RfS bought the wonderful horse-drawn carriage for £6,500 and spent £5,000 of the development grant.
Some of the development grant was spent working to ensure the charity was in brilliant shape to meet the post-pandemic challenges. Social media accounts were created, and hours and hours spent developing comprehensive grant applications. Riding for Smiles updated its strategy and business plan and all its policies and procedures.
Together with the Coloured Cob Equestrian Centre, RfS was ready to meet the increase in demand of over 250% from pre-pandemic levels.
Income in 2021-2022 from grants and donations was £64,000 with expenditure £43,500 on activities. RfS also funded the new toilet facilities at a cost of £8,000.
Riding for Smiles is close to meeting the goals set out in its revised business plan. They received grants of £116,875 from the National Lottery Community Fund over four years, £30,000 from Children in Need over three years and many other equally important grants from many other funders. On behalf of the children, young people and adults helped by Riding for Smiles, thank you. Thank you also to Coloured Cob EC who rose to the challenge. Together, the groups delivered over 200 rides in the horse-drawn carriage for users of wheelchairs, and over 1,650 children, young people and adult experiences were delivered.
Riding for Smiles finished the year with funding in place to support many of its programmes through to 2025; one task for 2022-2023 is to secure funding to be able to fully fund all these programmes. RfS is looking for around £13,000 each year from September to fully fund the new business plan.
More importantly it’s about delivering awesome experiences supported by the Coloured Cob Equestrian Centre, the schools that make the real effort to come along, the staff and volunteers, the funders, the amazing horses and ponies and the children, young people and adults who make the effort worthwhile.
Let’s keep on Riding for Smiles.