A Middlesbrough-based riding centre for the disabled is set to go on providing therapy, fun and achievement to Teessiders after receiving a £5,000 boost from 40 Teesside companies.
The Unicorn Centre, a purpose-built Riding for the Disabled facility in Hemlington, received the big cash boost from Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation after receiving most votes in a public poll as part of the charity’s £20,000 Golden Giveaway.
With 20 horses and ponies, the centre provides riding therapy sessions to more than 200 Teesside children and adults with a range of disabilities – but its indoor arena is in urgent need of new flooring, which is likely to cost around £15,000.
The £5,000 cheque was presented to the Unicorn Centre by Sue Theobald of Foundation patrons Barclays Middlesbrough at a presentation event at the Riverside Stadium, while Sue was joined by charity trustee Emily Bentley of Wynyard-based patrons Evolution Business and Tax Advisors on a visit to meet some of the children and horses.
Centre manager Claire Pitt said: “Riding is an amazing form of therapy for those with disabilities but it also helps them with confidence, self-esteem, coordination and balance. It offers them some real excitement, as well as a great form of empowerment for those who spend much of their lives in wheelchairs.
“But the surface in the arena has come to the end of its life and we desperately need to resurface it this summer. So we’re absolutely delighted to have received £5,000 from the Foundation and its brilliant patrons. This kick-starts our fundraising campaign, as it will make it so much easier to apply for grants to help us reach our target.”
Representatives of the Foundation’s patrons presented cheques ranging from £500 to £2,500 to 14 other Teesside groups who took part in the £20,000 Golden Giveaway.
• £2,500 presented to EVA Women’s Aid by Nigel Willis of First Choice Labels to support victims of domestic abuse or sexual violence in the Redcar and Cleveland area.
• £2,000 presented to The Bungalow Partnership by Gary Dawson of AV Dawson to provide emotional and psychological support to children and their families in Middlesbrough and Stockton.
• £1,500 presented to Park End Primary School of Middlesbrough by Elaine Bunn of Nortech to enhance the school nursery’s outdoor learning area.
• £1,500 presented to Middlesbrough Catholic Fellowship by Jayne Stephenson to provide a holiday in North Yorkshire for those with disabilities and provide respite for their families.
• £1,000 presented to the 2nd Billingham Scout Group by Christine Stobbs of the Wilton Group to fund a three-day camp for underprivileged members of the group.
• £1,000 presented to Sowing Seeds Ministries by David Henderson of px Group to provide a summer break for Stockton people who struggle to fund holidays of their own.
• £1,000 presented to Redcar and Cleveland MIND by Foundation chairman Andy Preston to cover running costs for their Mobile Mindspace campervan to visit rural areas of East Cleveland.
• £750 presented to A Way Out by Andrew Rowe of Evolution Business and Tax Advisors to cover resource and volunteer costs around helping Teesside women involved in survival sex work.
• £750 presented to Our Version of Events by Jordan Clayton of Hunters estate agents to fund a trip to London for Teesside adults with disabilities.
• £750 presented to Tees Valley Rural Community Council by Yvonne Ferguson of Middlesbrough FC to help the old and vulnerable to stay in their homes longer.
• £750 presented to Relate North East by Ken Devereux of Devereux Transport to fund a bursary scheme for those suffering relationship breakdown in Stockton and Hartlepool.
• £500 presented to Trinity Family Friendly Centre by David Henderson of px Group to support the community arm of Trinity Methodist Church.
• £500 presented to The Moses Project by Andrew Rowe of Evolution to fund the rehabilitation of adult males with drug and alcohol dependency problems.
• £500 presented to Hugs for Homeless by Elaine Bunn of Nortech to provide food, drink and clothing to homeless Teessiders.