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‘This is vital’: RDA’s desperate appeal to save groups from closure 

Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) groups across the country are facing possible closure if funds are not secured.

The RDA has launched an emergency appeal to help supports some of its groups hit worst by the nationwide shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

While activity, which creates income, has come to a halt, care for the RDA’s horses and ponies must continue.

“Many groups, which rely on income from riding and carriage driving sessions, are facing financial hardship and the very real possibility of permanent closure without a vital injection of funds,” said an RDA spokesman.

“The fundraising appeal will direct funds to groups most in need, and help provide vital care to the 4,000 horses who are central to RDA’s life-changing work.”

The closures have affected about 25,000 disabled people, children and adults, many of whom “rely on their weekly RDA sessions for physical therapy, health and wellbeing”, the spokesman said, adding: “RDA groups are also a vital community space for volunteers and participants to socialise, get active and have fun.”

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RDA chief executive Ed Bracher said the association has already moved existing funds into the appeal, putting much planned activity on hold to support groups,

“But we desperately need more money to make a real difference in the long term,” he added. “With so many groups relying on income from weekly sessions to pay their running costs – including looking after their horses – this appeal is vital for the survival of the organisation around the UK. I urge everyone to do what they can to support us at this extremely difficult time.”

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