Hi! It is my honor to have been chosen to coordinate Jumpstart, the first platform that raises awareness about the student-run projects of the University of Nottingham, which are at the core of our University’s engagement in the local communities in all three countries where UoN has campuses (United Kingdom, Malaysia, China). It was to my excitement to be informed that our first-ever campaign belongs to the University’s RDA group, of which I am a member!
Our group is part of the University of Nottingham Equestrian Club and is amongst the most active volunteering groups of the University at the moment. RDA stands for Riding for the Disabled Association, a British charity associated with a big number of yards. Five days a week we volunteer with RDA yards across Nottinghamshire, namely Dukeries, Scorpton and Lings Lane, providing assistance with stable management and lessons. We have invested thousands of hours already in this activity and we are bonded with the staff, riders and horses. Amongst us are students with disabilities who don’t want their health issues to be an obstacle to their engagement in the society and they too want to contribute; this is a way of healing for them as well, no matter the extent to which they realise it. More and more students join us on this journey, which is a proof that our effort is visible and appreciated.
But things are not always very easy, due to the long distance we have to drive to reach the yards. The road trips last between 30 and 45 minutes by car, hence our transportation costs are quite high. With our funding significantly reduced by the University, we cannot send as many volunteers as we would like to the yards that need them. As a result, many students get disappointed with the small number of slots available for this valuable work. We would like to increase these slots significantly, enabling the yards to do more for the people with disabilities who receive their help. And, of course, this way more young people will realise the ability of a horse to heal a human.
With Jumpstart, we hope to receive the funding we need for our transportation to the yards. We aim to raise 1,000 pounds to keep us going and until now we have reached 27% of our target. Through Jumpstart, people can sponsor or promote our project on social media, so one doesn’t need to actually donate money, although we would love everyone to.
Will you contribute to the transport of more volunteers to RDA yards? If you’d love to, here’s how you can do it: