‘It has been so heart-warming’ – Fundraiser to save Teddington’s Park Lane Stables passes £200,000

Teddington’s much-loved Park Lane Stables has reached a fundraising milestone of more than £200,000 in a bid to save the centre.

Park Lane Stables is a family run charity in Teddington that specialises in providing care and support to disabled children and adults offering horse riding lessons.

With 27 days left, the stables urgently need to raise £1million to secure its future for disabled participants as the landlord wishes to sell the property.

The Crowdfunder campaign started on New Year’s Eve and has raised £211,951 already.

Stables manager Natalie O’Rourke, 45, is very confident they will reach their target with the support of the community.

Being in a residential, urban location in the heart of the community, O’Rourke believes it’s important for the stables to stay where it is to make horses accessible for everyone.

She said: “A lot of people who go to the stables leave their house once a week and going to the stables is the one thing they rely on, shutting down would be cutting off that independence and opportunity for them.

“There are so many people that need us, we work with a lot of people with mental health issues as well and coming out of the pandemic there will be more.

“It speaks volumes what the horses mean to people from the amount of support we have received, the messages that have been written on Crowdfunder have been so heart-warming.

“I think we will do it, every pledge will make a difference, we are going in the right direction and getting the message out.”

The stables was awarded an Asset of Community Value (AVC) status by the Teddington Society, improving the chances of the stables being able to purchase the property by providing more time to raise funds, putting them in a stronger position.

O’Rourke said they have sparked up a big waiting list full of people wanting to join when they can reopen again.

In 2016, Park Lane Stables was visited by HRH Princess Anne to officially open the then newly-renovated stables.

O’Rourke recently received a letter as one of the children who uses the stables wrote to Princess Anne asking for her help.

She said: “One of the children wrote to Princess Anne about what the stables meant to him and how devastated it would be if we closed.

“When we received the letter, it really lifted our spirits and made us feel really positive. We feel like we have her support.”

Not only have they received a Royal letter, but O’Rourke also said horse racing pundit, Nick Clarke, has been highlighting the campaign to his network of people in the racing world, reaching out to a wider spread of people to reach their £1million target.

Clare Balding has also tweeted in support of the stables.

If the stables raise the money to buy the property, they will then be 100% owned by the registered charity Park Lane Stables RDA (Riding for the Disabled).

Click here to donate.

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