Be the Change is the University’s workplace giving scheme, designed to support charities and community groups which are working tirelessly to make a difference to people’s lives across the Tees Valley.
University colleagues can sign up to donate the pennies from their monthly salary, with contributions used to provide grants to nominated organisations. Staff who sign up for Be the Change can nominate organisations for grant support.
The Unicorn Centre in Coulby Newham, Middlesbrough, is among organisations set to benefit from the first round of donations, with a total of 11 charities each receiving £500.
The Unicorn Centre is a purpose-built riding for the disabled facility, which offers riding therapy and training opportunities for over 200 disabled adults and children. Since opening in 1998, it has amassed a team of around 100 volunteers, who assist with riding lessons each week. They rely entirely on fundraising and donations to subsidise the cost of riding lessons.
Caroline Murrell, Equine Operations Manager at the Unicorn Centre, said: “We were hit particularly hard during the pandemic, as we were unable to support a lot of our riders and there was a big impact on our fundraising.
“Just as there has been increases in everything linked to the cost of living, we’re seeing increases in our costs. This donation will help greatly"
This donation will help greatly.
Teesside University colleagues Emma Harbron, Jayne Golden and Christine Cook all nominated the centre for support.
Emma, Lecturer in Legal Practice in the University’s School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law, said: “As a horse lover and former volunteer at the Centre, I have witnessed first-hand the numerous benefits and value of the therapy they provide through horse riding and horse care. The Centre relies heavily on volunteers, donations and fund raising and will benefit significantly from the Be the Change donation. I couldn’t think or a more deserving cause.”
Jayne, who is Teesside University Volunteer Co-ordinator, said: “University volunteers have been involved in supporting the Unicorn Centre, which has enabled me to see first-hand the fantastic work that they do within the local community. They have a huge impact on the services users of the Centre and our students have gained so much from volunteering with them. We are delighted that this funding will help to continue to support their valuable work and contribution to the community.”
Christine, Central Support Administrator in Student Recruitment & Marketing, said: “I first heard about the brilliant work that the Unicorn Centre does when I was part of a volunteer team at the University who helped to spruce up the show area before an event. They rely on donations and do a sterling job.”