Community Fund supports local riding school

Just good neigh-bours - £5,000 grant helps disabled horse riders get in the saddle

The Stansted Airport Community Fund (SACF) has granted £5,000 to a Hertfordshire charity that encourages disabled and disadvantaged people to take up horse riding and carriage driving.

The donation is being used to help Brook Cottage Farm Riding for the Disabled (RDA) group near Furnuex Pelham build a sensory all-weather riding track so disabled adults and children can experience riding and carriage driving in a safer environment than on the roads.                     

The SACF chair, Daniel Burford, together with special guest Sir Oliver Heald MP and MAG’s Public Affairs Manager, Patrick Hall, presented a cheque to the riding school on Friday, October 27.

Daniel Burford, chair of the SACF, said:

“It is fantastic to be able to support a local charity like Brook Cottage Farm RDA through the SACF and it was great that Sir Oliver Heald MP was there to mark this special occasion.

“It was unanimously agreed by SACF that this brilliant charity should receive £5,000 and we hope that this contribution will go a long way to helping more disabled children experience the joy of horse riding.”

Sir Oliver Heald MP said:

“It has been great to visit Brook Cottage Farm RDA, a charity based in North East Hertfordshire that makes a meaningful impact on the lives of disabled children by providing horse riding lessons.

“It was my pleasure to present them with a £5,000 grant from the SACF, which will support further development of their facilities such as the construction of their riding track.”

Brook Cottage Farm RDA group chair Hester Tingey said:

“The SACF has given us a marvellous donation towards our project to create an all-weather track around the riding school.

“This is allowing us to construct another 100m of the projected 500m circular route, which means we are now two thirds of the way through our project.

“We are working hard to raise another £20,000 to complete the remaining section and add a picnic area, seasonal grotto, sensory plants, pergolas, musical instruments and a pond which will provide disabled children and adults with a safe and delightful place in which to interact with horses and learn to ride.”

The SACF offers grants of up to £5,000 to projects aimed at improving community life, the environment and conservation within a 10-mile radius of the airport.

Founded in 2005, it’s part of a section 106 planning requirement and has donated over £1 million pounds to hundreds of organisations.

Following the airport's successful planning application to serve up to 43 million passengers a year, it was relaunched in January 2023 to reinforce its ties and provide further support to the local community.

Over the next decade, the airport will contribute £1.5 million to the fund, which will be topped up from fines levied against airlines who violate noise regulations.

Since its relaunch, the SACF has donated £230,000 to local good causes.

·       For more information about SACF visit https://www.stanstedairport.com/community/community-support/community-funds/ or email community@stanstedairport.com