The Board of Trustees for Bannockburn Group of Riding for the Disabled confirmed that operations could no longer continue at Sauchieburn .
Although there are still complex ongoing legal negotiations with our landlord, it has become sadly evident that the BRDA cannot continue day-to-day operations at Sauchieburn Centre. This is due to:-
the deteriorating access road
the fact that fewer than a quarter of our regular riders can access the Centre
our income falling so much it no longer covers our costs
concerns that the safety and welfare of staff, riders, drivers and horses could be compromised by the ever-increasing volume of heavy traffic and machinery in the vicinity of the Centre
After very difficult and emotional discussions the Board has reached the decision that the situation is untenable. BRDA will have to move from Sauchieburn Centre and all activities here will therefore cease with effect from 14th August 2014. Our staff have been advised of this decision and what it means for them.
We stress this does NOT mean the end of a local Riding for the Disabled group. We are totally committed, as we know you want us to be, to continue our vital work and preserve the exceptional spirit of warmth and expertise which has made this Centre so acclaimed for the last 20 years. What has been built here is too special to be destroyed.
In the short term, over the transitional period, we are drawing up a unique scheme to ensure our riders have access to riding centres in the local area. In the longer term, we are formulating exciting plans to create a new RDA Equestrian Centre of Excellence in the Stirling area. Some details of these proposals are explained further down this letter.
It is vital to stress how, during this extremely difficult period, you have sustained the Centre. We cannot thank you enough for this. We have received significant financial support from both friends and strangers alike and these generous donations have ensured that our riders and horses have enjoyed an active summer. We are so grateful to our supporters for their goodwill and loyalty; and we are working unstintingly to ensure that the organisation will continue to flourish.
Current and future fundraising activities and donations will be channelled into the RideOn campaign for our continuing operations after August:
In the short term. We are launching an exciting new plan to ensure that Riding for the Disabled continues for our local participants. In conjunction with RDA UK and local riding schools we are starting a scheme called “Accessibility Mark” to accredit existing centres to allow people with disabilities to access their equestrian activities. This scheme is new to Scotland and we are identifying suitable centres. We will provide you with more information on this as soon as we can.
In the long term. We are pursuing plans to create a new RDA Equestrian Centre of Excellence in the local area. Obviously this will take more time to formulate and deliver but very promising discussions are underway and we hope to bring you more news on this soon.
We understand how important the Sauchieburn Centre has been to so many of you over so many years, and we are desperately sorry to have this decision forced upon us. However, with your continued support, Riding for the Disabled in this area will emerge stronger and in even better shape than it was. We are committed to ensuring that the organisation will rebuild for the sake of those who matter so much to us: our riders, drivers, staff, helpers, volunteers – and, of course, our horses.
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