PossAbilities rides to the rescue

Heywood social enterprise, PossAbilities is celebrating after helping to save a riding centre for vulnerable people from closing.

The Margaret Haes riding centre in Holcombe Brook, near Bury, was threatened with closure after their landlord gave them six-months to raise £300,000 to buy their site, or see it sold on the open market.

A crowdfunding appeal raised only £30,000 and that’s when Rachel Law, CEO of Heywood based PossAbilities CIC stepped in. She said “I saw the appeal on the regional TV news. I’m an animal lover and our social enterprise, PossAbilities, is all about supporting vulnerable people. I had two good reasons to see to it that the riding centre survived. It was an idea that I couldn’t get out of my head, so we set about doing everything we could to save them”.

After receiving a £150,000 donation from a local philanthropist, a bid supported by PossAbilities has just been approved by the Government Department for Levelling Up, through the Community Ownership Fund. This additional £150,000 means that the riding centre can buy its site and continue its fifty year track record as a charity.

Rachel added “We threw ourselves into this, starting with negotiating with the landowner and then moving on to preparing funding bids alongside the charity. This is a magnificent success and is just the start. We’ve built a great relationship with the riding centre and we expect to help them to go from strength to strength”.

Trustee of the charity, Debra Batchelor said “Rachel and the team at PossAbilities brought new energy and life to our campaign. The Centre was under threat of closure after 50 years as its stables and land were placed on the market for sale. Both organisations support vulnerable people to live life to the full. We came together and succeeded in achieving what was seemingly impossible. We were so grateful. They have been by our side helping us through the most challenging of times bringing a wealth of business know-how and understanding, as one would expect from this highly successful social enterprise”.