HorseWorld’s new Chief Executive will open all their doors through first virtual event

Artboard 1.12.pngHorseWorld is embarking on their first ever live virtual fundraising event after being forced to think differently in response to the impact of Covid-19.

The charity would have usually had two open day events by this time in the year – raising around £10,000 in total – but the first was cancelled due to bad weather, and the second in response to the pandemic. Further fundraising activities and events due to take place throughout the summer months were also rendered impossible when coronavirus took hold.

With around 100 rescued horses relying on the charity for their daily care and ongoing rehabilitation, such a significant loss in fundraising income could be catastrophic for the organisation, so the pressure was on to try and mitigate any negative impact and ensure that the essential work could continue.

At the same time, the charity welcomed the arrival of new Chief Executive Petra Ingram, who found herself taking the reins of the organisation in an unprecedented situation.

Joining a new charity always means taking a good look at fundraising activities, identifying what’s working well, then working with teams to see where there are new opportunities, but we really had to hit the ground running in this instance!” says Petra.

“The cancellation of the two open days, combined with all our opportunities to attend external fundraising events disappearing almost overnight, meant that we had a serious challenge on our hands. Many charities are facing similar difficulties, but as a small organisation it was absolutely essential that we led the way in finding new and innovative ways to engage our supporters whilst raising funds.

“Welcoming our supporters on site has always been such a wonderful way to thank them for all their generosity and show them how their donations are making a very real difference to the lives of the vulnerable horses we have rescued. So, we had to make a quick decision; our supporters couldn’t come to us, but we could go to them. And we wanted to take the whole HorseWorld herd!

The virtual open day promises to combine all the favourite elements of a HorseWorld open day, with extras and unprecedented ‘behind the scenes’ insights.

“We hope that the virtual open day will allow our amazing supporters to see even more than they usually would do,” says Petra. “They’ll get to see what goes into taking care of around 100 horses every day and the team who make it happen; plus catch up with all our wonderful adoptable animals; and virtually fly around the whole 120 acre site!”

The charity appealed to businesses they’ve worked with to help them with the event and Rathbone Investment Management were quick to respond.

Andrew Pitt, Head of Charities at Rathbones said “Saving around 100 animals every year, we are humbled by the incredible compassion and support that HorseWorld shows to neglected horses, ponies and donkeys, so we were thrilled when we were invited to support HorseWorld’s first ever virtual open day. As a firm we strive to play an active role in the life of the charities we work with and it’s an absolute privilege to sponsor this event. We wish the team at HorseWorld the very best of luck.”

HorseWorld has also received support from Smith and Williamson, SRA Architects, and Bristol-based agency Tickbox.

More information about the virtual open day can be found on the website at Further details can be found on the charity’s social media channels – all of which are @horseworldtrust on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Posted on: 22nd July 2020