Thanet Disabled Riding Centre in Broadstairs has won £63,880 of National Lottery funding after the public vote polled them as one of three winners for the region in this year’s The People’s Projects, run with ITV.
Thanet Disabled Riding Centre was one of five groups in ITV Meridian East in the running for a share of almost £250,000 of funding and were announced as one of the winners last night (June 1)
A swell of support means the centre will now receive the funding and be able to continue to provide riding and therapy sessions to Thanet’s disabled community benefitting them physically, mentally and socially.
The extra financial security will also make it possible to add a new pony to the equine team to help reduce the long waiting lists and benefit more people.
Delighted centre member Vicky Matthews said: “We couldn’t believe it. It covers our running costs for the year and means we can do maintenance to the yard like fencing and concreting and also get a new pony.”
The new addition will join the team of four working ponies and retired pony Smartie who is 35 today (June 2).
Vicky added: “It’s back to work as normal today but we are hoping to do a little celebration for all the volunteers and their hard work.
“It is so lovely to know we had support from our local community and we hope to give back that support.”
The centre has been running for more than 40 years and has been at its current site at Maurice House in Broadstairs for 30 years. It is entirely self-funded and relies on donations from groups and individuals to cover the £250 per day running costs.
It is headed up by Nora Setterfield, 82, who received an MBE in 2013 for her dedication to the centre which helps children and adults who suffer from disabilities by providing riding lessons or just time with the horses and other visitors. There are some 48 students each week as well as a number of children with special needs who help at the stables with the volunteers.
Blondel Cluff CBE, Chair of The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “The People’s Projects highlights the incredible work of inspiring community groups across the UK. We are proud to have given local people throughout the country a say in where over £4 million of vital National Lottery funding will go.
“We congratulate this year’s winners and look forward to seeing them make a life-changing difference in their communities.”
Since it started in 2005, The People’s Projects has awarded around £45 million to over 1,000 good causes.