Two prestigious fundraising events – a golf day later this month and a glittering charity ball early next year – will help a Milton Keynes charity continue the good work it does with vulnerable and disadvantaged children.
Ride High was established in 2009 to support children referred by care professionals. In the beginning it worked with just six children. Fourteen years later, what is now an established and much relied upon service within the community supports 120 children every week.
These children face challenges that make everyday life a struggle. Many have suffered neglect, abuse and/or trauma which has led to mental health challenges including anxiety, depression and self-harm.
The charity has a huge impact on these young lives – in the 2022 Impact Report, 77% recorded a significant increase in wellbeing – a reflection of improved health and happiness.
Central to the charity’s proven success is its use of horses, which are used to connect with the most disengaged children in a way other more traditional interventions often can’t. Learning to ride and care for the horses empowers children to learn new skills resulting in improved confidence and self-esteem, enabling them to communicate more effectively and to change negative mindsets and challenging behaviours.
Despite its substantial growth, Ride High still operates an ever-increasing waiting list of children in need of support, and works tirelessly to raise the funds necessary to reach them as soon as possible.
One way it does this is through flagship fundraising events – an annual Charity Ball which has attracted over 200 guests every year since it started in 2010 – and the annual Charity Golf Day, held at the prestigious Woburn Golf Club.
Both events are spectacular but they’re also a reminder of just how imperative Ride High’s service is, and how by getting involved people can make a profound difference on young lives – and this is powerfully demonstrated by ex-Ride High members (like Becca, pictured left) who bravely take to the stage at events to share their story.
Having severely struggled with her mental health since she was young, Becca was referred to Ride High by Children and Mental Health Services (CAMHS) at age 16.
“I will always be grateful for Ride High’s support and encouragement, and for believing in me when no-one seemed to care,” said Becca. “It helped me through an incredibly challenging part of my life and gave me the resources I needed to carry on. Ride High gave me strength, confidence, and determination to go to university. I’m now 22 and still struggle with my mental health, but I’m able to cope thanks to Ride High.
“I’m soon to achieve my qualification in childcare, working as a preschool teacher. Now I’ll be able to find my own path into supporting children and their families in difficult circumstances, aiming to be to them what Ride High was to me: a lifesaver.”
Ride High’s Charity Golf Day, kindly sponsored by Bailey MK, takes place at Woburn Golf Club on Wednesday September 27, 2023 on the original Championship Duke’s Course. The Diamonds Are Forever Ball is on Saturday January 27, 2024 at Leonardo Hotel in Milton Keynes.