We are now well over 6 months in from the launch of the Para Equestrian Foundation and one thing has become very clear. The level of demand for what we offer is incredibly high, with para riders from all over the world getting in touch with us. They come from as far afield as Australia, Cambodia, the United States and across Europe, as well as plenty from here in the UK and Ireland. Some are on the hunt for advice, others are hoping to access the financial and training support the Foundation aims to offer.
Our founder Di has also found herself acting as an impromptu therapist for riders who have found themselves on the same journey that she did. For those who once had total independence as an able-bodied rider, they are now adjusting to life as a para-athlete and for the first time understanding the financial barriers now standing between them and their beloved sport. Adapted saddles, carefully trained horses and additional support on the ground all add to the cost of riding for para-athletes. It’s frustrating and at times heartbreaking to see people held back from riding by financial limitations when the benefits of the activity are so widely accepted.
That’s why we set up the Para Equestrian Foundation in the first instance. Our founder Di Green has first-hand experience of the contrast between para and able-bodied equestrian sport, and it’s that journey which inspired her to help others. Sadly, at the moment demand is far outstripping interest in supporting the foundation. Whilst many people seek Di’s expertise and support, access to horses and training and the other services we offer, so far, the donations haven’t materialised.
Of course, the events of the last 12 months have put pressure on all areas of society, including the third sector. As people batten down the hatches in their own lives to protect their mental and financial health, fundraising campaigns and charities are suffering. But it’s more important now to support organisations which need our help. Here at the Para Equestrian Foundation the need for our services is still there, and we hope to attract more attention for our cause. We will be sharing some behind the scenes information and case studies so that you can see the amazing work we’re doing already - and see what we could do with a little (or a lot!) more support.
Make sure you keep checking back!