One of London’s oldest remaining stables has raised over £ 1million in less than two months to avoid closure.
Park Lane Stables in Teddington helps disabled and disadvantaged children learn to ride with a paid system. The capital councils are also referring children and adults to the charity for respite.
But it had to close permanently after landlord Natalie O’Rourke learned that the yards lease would not be renewed later this year and the land was sold.
She launched a New Years Eve fundraising campaign to buy the site and had until February 24 to earn £ 1million, the estimated cost of the riding school site.
Yesterday he hit his goal and has now raised over £ 1.25million. Over 30,500 people donated.
Actor Rob Brydon and impressionist Rory Bremner were among those pledged to support.
Ms O’Rourke said she was “totally overwhelmed” and “couldn’t believe” that they had hit the target.
“What can we say? Thank you, from the bottom of our hooves and our hearts to everyone who retweeted, promised and believed, ”she added.
“We are overwhelmed by the kindness we have received.”
The site, which is home to 23 horses, has a long equestrian history and was a fire station with horse-drawn engines from the early 1800s and also served as a dairy.
It was reopened 12 years ago as a riding school and charity by Ms O’Rourke after the foot-and-mouth disease crisis which closed previous stables in 2008.
It now serves as a riding center for the Association of the Handicapped (RDA) and Pony Club and employs many staff with additional needs, as well as managing an army of volunteers.
During the first lockdown, he launched a ‘little pony in your window’ campaign, with horses promoted to visit socially isolated people in the area.
Last month, Ms. O’Rourke said: “We provide respite services for children, young offenders, people with disabilities, people who are socially isolated and those who would never be able to afford horseback riding otherwise. .
“Due to our location near the station, we receive people from all over London.”