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Godsend for charities as brokers award grants

Charities facing tough times have received a share of more than £50,000 – describing the money as a “godsend”.

The SEIB Giving virtual awards, for small and medium charities, had been due to be announced in London on 20 March but owing to the coronavirus pandemic were held online in daily videos from 30 March to 3 April. Following nominations by the public, 10 charities – of which six were equine charities – made it to the final stage of voting decided by SEIB customers. Each charity received a share of the £50,500 pot towards their projects – and, for this year, towards running costs, in light of the financial impact of COVID-19.

Redwings Horse Sanctuary and Bransby Horses each received £15,000 after the voting resulted in a tie for top spot. Gaddesden Place Riding for the Disabled received £5,000, the Horse Trust £4,000, Hope Pastures £1,000 and the Flicka Foundation £1,000. Doris Banham Dog Rescue was awarded £7,000 and children’s charity Once Upon a Smile £2,000. Canine charity Hope Rescue, and the South Essex Wildlife Hospital each received £250.

Redwings chief executive Lynn Cutress said the charity was “delighted”.

“As we are a charity 100% funded by donations from the public, this generous grant will go a long way towards caring for our 1,500 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules,” she said.

Sally Crawford of Bransby, whose site near Lincoln was affected by flooding in November last year, said the award was incredible.

“Working since the floods has been tougher than usual, and although the waters have finally subsided, the fallout from the devastation continues,” she said.

“The money we’ve been awarded will go towards purchasing a Kubota vehicle which we can use at our Barlings site, where more than 50 horses and ponies have been moved as a result of our land being ravaged by floods,” she said.

Doris Banham Dog Rescue founder Trudie James described the money as a “godsend”.

“I would have loved to buy some kennels but I will have to use it for running costs to keep our dogs safe during this [lockdown] period,” she said.

SEIB marketing manager Nicolina MacKenzie said charities are facing “tough times”.

“We have been determined make sure our finalists receive their grants, but also have the opportunity for publicity through our virtual awards,” she commented.

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“I am very grateful for the magnificent support we have received with staging these awards. In particular to Burghley Horse Trials and the Horse of the Year Show for the efforts they have made to promote the SEIB Giving virtual awards.”

SEIB chief executive Barry Fehler added he was “immensely proud” of SEIB and the team for ensuring the charities had their moment in the spotlight.

“Helping others is what SEIB is all about and I am delighted that we have been able to grant this money to such wonderful causes at this moment in time when it is so desperately needed,” he said.

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