The Community Hands Campaign, launched by the team at Chris White funeral directors, called on 400 local residents and businesses to give just £1 each to help raise enough to sponsor a community horse at Wilton Group Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), a riding charity.
The team at Chris White helped raise the £400 needed annually to fund the livery of March, an Exmoor pony at the riding centre.
Those who donated to the scheme got to put their details onto one of 400 vinyl hands, which was added to a six-foot cardboard cut-out of March. The cardboard horse was displayed in the window of Chris White’s Wilton branch, allowing local residents to follow the progress of the campaign and also to see who had bought a hand.
“When it was suggested that we support a community horse, the team at the branch wanted to come up with an idea that we could get local people involved with and really bring the community element to life,” said Becky Perry, funeral director at Chris White.
“The Community Hands Campaign will not only help support the invaluable work that the Wilton Group RDA does in the area, but it’s also a great way for the local community to unite and take ownership of something worthwhile. At the end of the campaign, Wilton will have its own community horse, which is something that not many other places can claim!”
The Wilton Group RDA charity is one of the largest disabled riding centres in the country, with 20 dedicated horses helping over 200 disabled riders from Wilton and the surrounding areas each week. Run by 200 local volunteers, the charity does not charge for its services and is funded entirely by donations.
“We are excited about the launch of The Community Hands Campaign and hope we can count on the support of local residents,” said Alex Hill, spokesperson for the riding centre.
“The money raised from The Community Hands Campaign will go directly to fund March, our 13.2 hands Exmoor pony. After spending his youth hunting, he is no longer fit enough to jump over fences, but his role at the centre keeps him moving. He has a beautiful temperament and brings so much joy to those who ride him,” continued Alex.
When the initiative ended, the cardboard horse, complete with the vinyl hands of those who supported the campaign, was permanently put on display at the riding centre.