£100,000 grant for new indoor arena will ‘change lives’

  • A disabled riding group in Scotland will benefit from a £100,000 grant towards the cost of an indoor arena.

    The funds were raised by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery and will help Ravelrig Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) group bring its riders and volunteers indoors for the first time.

    The branch was presented with a cheque at the RDA’s AGM in London on 6 November.

    Based on a six-acre site gifted by homebuilders CALA developments, the group runs riding sessions all-year round. However, with no indoor facilities it is forced to cancel lessons in bad weather.

    In 2010 all the riding sessions were stopped for three months as the centre near Edinburgh was snowbound.

    Run by 130 volunteers, Ravelrig supports more than 100 local children and adults and has just started working with military veterans, a project also supported by the People’s Postcode Lottery — a lottery system from which 27.5% of income goes to charity.

    The new arena will enable the group to increase its activities to enable 30% more people to benefit from the therapy of horses.

    The latest grant is a great boost for the development project which also includes in phase two a new clubroom, changing facilities, offices and viewing gallery.

    “We are delighted to be awarded this award,” said Barbara Johnstone of Ravelrig RDA. “It has come at a key time to encourage, motivate and boost our development plans. We can’t thank players enough for the support they give to RDA – it really does change lives.”

    Representatives from the People’s Postcode Lottery visited the Ravelrig RDA on 21 October to see the work they do.

    “Charities supported by our players can choose exactly how they allocate funds — and this project at Ravelrig is a great example of the amazing difference those funds can make,” said Jo Bucci, managing director of People’s Postcode Lottery at the RDA’s AGM.

    Over the last three years the RDA has received over £400,000 from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

    “This year we have been able to run small, medium and major grants programmes to help as many of our 500 groups around the UK as possible,” said Ed Bracher, chief executive of RDA UK.

    “This one off major grant gave us the chance to support a group undertaking a big project. In selecting Ravelrig our grants panel have identified a great project: well-organised, lots of local support; far-reaching plans and a great vision for the future of RDA in the area.”

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