A Borders charity is on course to get a new horse, thanks to Kelso youngsters helping it secure a £3,000 grant from the annual STV Children’s Appeal.
Riding for the Disabled’s Borders group landed the cash after four Kelso High School put in a winning pitch at a Youth and Philanthropy Initiative Scotland event held in Perth by the Wood Foundation.
The pupils – Sam Kyle, Edan Grantham, Blair Hutchinson and Kayla Ruddy – visited the charity’s headquarters on the Monteviot Estate near Ancrum to find out what use it would be able to put a windfall to, then stated its case to a judging panel at the STV Children’s Appeal handout session.
Group official Jill Kyle said: “We were absolutely delighted to have been awarded £3,000.
“The four S3 Kelso High School pupils showed a desire to understand and learn about the history of Riding for the Disabled, how the charity works in the local community and how a significant sum of money could make a very positive impact to a long-established charity supporting local adults and children with often complex and multiple disabilities.
“Without financial security, the charity would not be sustainable, so to secure an award of £3,000 this year was truly amazing.
“The award has allowed the group to begin their search for a new horse, which will enable the group to offer riding to more adults and children living with disability and the challenges that brings on a daily basis.
“We extend our huge thanks to Kelso High, the four S3 pupils who displayed their interest and genuine passion and delivered a fantastic presentation to the judging panel and to the STV Children’s Appeal for providing their generous support.”
The riding charity was one of 10 good causes nationwide each given £3,000 by the appeal, now in its sixth year.
Appeal spokeswoman Elizabeth Partyka said: “We hope the grant will go a long way to help the Riding for the Disabled Borders Group make an even bigger difference in their local community.”
The group started in 1968 by helping just four children and relying on borrowed horses, but it has since gone on to cater for around 50 adults and children and it now owns eight horses and ponies for use at its £100,000 indoor riding arena near Ancrum.
The YPI programme draws attention to small charities that would otherwise not receive much publicity. In the last academic year, the scheme gave funding to 195 charities.
In total, the STV awarded £30,000 to ten different charities involved in the YPI scheme.