22 Aug 2020

British Equestrian launches fund to help riding centres tackling inequality in their communities

British Equestrian, the national governing body for equestrian sport in the UK, has been awarded £150,000 of National Lottery funding by Sport England to enable it to support riding centres that are struggling during this difficult time.

The fund aims to provide immediate funding to those most in need. It’s specifically targeted at riding centres and groups delivering activity for disabled participants who have been affected by COVID-19, but have been unable to secure funding or financial support from other sources during this difficult time. Applicants will also be judged on the work they do with participants from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

Eligible organisations include equestrian centres experiencing short-term financial hardship or the imminent threat of closure due to the impact of COVID-19. The fund can be used to meet obligations such as fixed costs, including maintenance and utility bills, and core staffing costs.

“We know the immense benefits that being around horses can have for disabled people, so we are very grateful to Sport England for helping us to support centres in this way,” commented British Equestrian’s Head of Participation, David Butler. “We look forward to receiving applications and being able to help equestrian centres in financial need to continue the great work they do in providing riding activity for disabled participants in their community.”

The funding has been awarded as part of Sport England’s Tackling Inequalities Fund, which aims to address inequalities in sport and activity levels by working with its partners to reach those most in need. The funding and support offered by Sport England and British Equestrian will enable community groups working with target audiences – lower socio-economic groups, Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, disabled people and people with long-term health conditions (LTC) – to continue to exist and engage with their communities with a view to keeping them active during both the lockdown and early recovery stages.

“We are proud to be able to provide funding and support to British Equestrian in this difficult period,” commented Sport England’s Chief Executive, Tim Hollingsworth. “The Tackling Inequalities Fund is supporting the valuable community infrastructure that is so important in keeping the nation active, and will also provide important connections and reconnections for people whose lives have been affected by COVID-19 and for whom remaining active is so important for their physical, mental and social wellbeing. We know from our research and data that there are existing inequalities between groups when it comes to activity levels, and COVID-19 has re-enforced these.”

Applications for the fund are open from today (21 August 2020) and will close at 9am on Monday 7 September 2020. The online application form can be accessed here, and full guidance and the list of questions is available in the document below. Further information or queries can be addressed to participation@bef.co.uk.