A CHARITY which offers a lifeline to disadvantaged children is riding high after raising £54,000 at a glittering ball last Friday.
The event, sponsored by accountants MacIntyre Hudson and the Citizen, was hosted by the BBC Radio 2 presenter Jeremy Vine and attended by 380 guests including the Mayor of Milton Keynes, Councillor Alan Francis and MP for Milton Keynes South, Iain Stewart.
The Ride High fundraiser featured a casino and auctions with the magnificient sum of £39,000 raised on the night and another £15,000 pledged by people wanting to support the day to day operations of the charity.
Rachel Medill, chairman of trustees, said: “It simply would not have been possible to run this scale of event without the help of companies, individuals and over 30 volunteers who donate time, products, services and prizes.
“It felt as if the whole of Milton Keynes had come together to support Ride High. We raised a quarter of next year’s running costs – it was phenomenal and we are hugely grateful to everyone.”
Speaking of the children the charity supports, she said: “The children who come to us are desperate – often mute with misery. With the help of horses and long term support we are a lifeline – we give the children a reason to feel positive about themselves and the future. Many are now going on to college and other horse-based vocations.”
Some of the older Ride High members attended as ambassadors and one, a 15-year-old girl, stood on stage undaunted as she was interviewed by Jeremy Vine. She said: “I was a small, sad person when I came to Ride High and now I can stand here and tell 400 people what Ride High means to me – I want to become a mounted policewoman.”
The charity will be calling on the Milton Keynes community again towards the end of October as it runs a “Challenge Anneka” weekend to equip its new clubroom which is currently nothing but a shell.
Ride High is based near Great Brickhill and caters for up to 70 children a week – children who are disadvantaged or struggling with daily life with the aim of changing their prospects. The charity is supported by grant organisations such as Sport Relief, the MK Community Foundation and the Esmee Fairbairn Charitable Trust.
> For more information visit www.ridehigh.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org