“THE children learn to ride and care for horses but this is just the tip of the iceberg.”
Rachel Medill, chairman of Ride High, couldn’t be more right, for the charity does so much more to help the most disadvantaged children around the city.
For two years Rachel and her team, based at Bryerley Springs Farm, have helped to teach children from disadvantaged backgrounds a number of responsibilities while also improving their social and literacy skills.
Despite being relatively young the charity has grown rapidly and deservedly won recognition for its outstanding work.
Last year Ride High earned three awards including Best Business Supporting the local community 2010 at the MK Chamber of Commerce Awards, Best Community/Sports/Arts Group 2010 at the Pride of Milton Keynes Awards and Great and Valuable Services to the Community at the High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire Awards.
Now the charity is helping children get into work thanks to a £10,000 grant donated by the Santander Foundation.
Rachel said: “The workbooks will provide the evidence of all the learning they have done and they will leave Ride High with a work relevant qualification on their CV and a portfolio of work.
“The work books will also show employers all the volunteering and work experience the children have done while at Ride High, something that will give them an added advantage with potential employers.”
To further boost the initiative the charity will be looking to really boost the coffers with a black tie ball to be held at stadium:mk on September 23. It’s hoped the ball will raise around £50,000 with Ride High hoping that charity patron and host for the evening, BBC presenter Jeremy Vine, will inspire guests to dig deep to help meet the target. On the night there will be a raffle with a special auction prize donated by Jeremy which includes the chance to watch his radio show live before having lunch with him.
Other auction prizes will include driving an Audi R8 for the weekend, a private tour of Chelsea Flower Show 2012, a weekend at the Dorchester Hotel and signed Michael Schumacher clothing.
Going forward Rachel is keen to add to the charity’s success over the next few years. She added: “I have been lucky enough to ride all my life and I have seen at first hand the incredible effect they have on people who are having difficulties.
“But the horses are just the start of it – we use horses as a method of engaging the children and from there we work with them on a wide range of aspects such as team working, making presentations, improving literacy, helping others, making friends and volunteering.
“For so many of us MK is the best place in the world to live but there are children who can’t take the basics of life for granted.
“I have had the most incredible chances in life and I wanted to do the same for some of the most needy children living so close to me.”