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Haworth iding group's anxious wait for lottery funding
9:00am Saturday 5th October 2013 in News
A riding for the disabled group whose £380,000 lottery funding runs out within weeks is still awaiting news of whether it will be renewed.
Haworth RDA was awarded the cash – spread over five years – for staffing and to help towards running costs.
The group has applied to the Big Lottery Fund for further support.
But Haworth RDA founder and manager, Jackie Butterfield, said: “We won’t know until November or December if the application has been successful, so we can only wait.
“We’ve also been applying for grants from other sources. This is specifically so we can maintain staffing at the current levels. We don’t want to lose staff.”
The group, which began in 2001 and has grown rapidly over the years, relies on its own fundraising efforts and donations to maintain its provision and facilities.
It caters for more than 160 riders – aged from four upwards – each year, offering a variety of different programmes.
A new after-school club has been launched this week thanks to a £2,480 grant from training organisation Aspire-i. The 40-week term-time course at the Vale Mill Lane stables will offer group activities and a work programme.
“This is an exciting educational programme for children unable to attend the stables at weekends when we are booked up,” said Mrs Butterfield. “It gives disabled children in mainstream school access to riding.
“We are extremely grateful to Aspire-i, which has helped us before, for its continued support. We’re very appreciative of what it does for us.”
Jane Lawrence, a part-time fundraiser for Haworth RDA, said the Monday after-school sessions will have many benefits for the young participants.
“Children involved will work with the horses, coaches and volunteers,” she added.
“The interaction with the horses will deliver learning in a fun and relaxed way, but it will also be a new and exciting method of personal development. Mastery of a large animal such as a horse also develops self-confidence.
“And the children will achieve a vocationally-recognised qualification that can help them attain future employment, if they wish.”
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