Two worthy charities shared the top spot in this year’s SEIB Insurance Brokers Giving Virtual Awards, held between 30 March – 3 April 2020. With more than 36,000 nominations for 1,300 charities, it was neck and neck between the top two – ending on an identical number of votes.
The pair of front runners, Bransby Horses Rescue and Welfare and Redwings Horse Sanctuary, each enjoyed a £15,000 grant for their efforts. During the virtual awards both charities watched as their placings and grant amounts were announced via video posts on SEIB’s social media channels. Eight more charities reached the final voting stages and shared the £20,500 spoils between them.
With stringent entry requirements – only small and medium-sized charities being eligible – SEIB’s charity awards were adjusted in light of COVID-19 and, while usually charities must declare a particular project they intended to use the grant for, this year the grant could be used to help keep charities afloat.
The winning charities were overwhelmed by the generous nature of the awards and will now work to ensure the money is put to good use. Lynn Cutress, Redwings’ Chief Executive, said: “As a charity 100% funded by donations from the public, this generous grant will go a long way towards caring for our 1,500 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules. This news is also a very welcome boost for our teams right now, who are working hard in challenging times to ensure our rescued residents still receive all the specialist care they need – so thank you to everyone who supported our application.”
Sally Crawford, Bransby Horses Executive Director of Engagement and Income Generation, said: “Working since the November 2019 floods has been tougher than usual and, though the waters have finally subsided, the fallout from this devastation continues. The money we’ve been so kindly awarded will go towards purchasing a Kabota vehicle that we can use at our Barlings site, where more than 50 horses and ponies have been moved as a result of our land being ravaged by the floods. Thank you so much SEIB from us all here at Bransby Horses.”
Originally due to be held in London on 20 March 2020, the SEIB Giving Awards were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and moved online. Immensely proud of the company’s quick actions, SEIB’s Chief Executive Officer, Barry Fehler, commented: “Our team have seamlessly ensured that each of the 10 shortlisted charities got their moment in the spotlight. Helping others is what SEIB is all about and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to grant this money to such wonderful causes at this moment in time when it’s so desperately needed.”
Doris Banham Dog Rescue took the award for best small charity, with a grant of £7,000, while Hertfordshire-based Gaddesden Place Riding for the Disabled (RDA) received a grant of £5,000. Karen Gosen, Trustee and volunteer said: “We’re delighted with the money and grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of the SEIB awards. The nomination stage in particular was very engaging for our riders and volunteers. It was one of our volunteers – who is an SEIB customer – that let us know about the awards.”
Also featuring in the top 10 and receiving generous grants were The Horse Trust, which was founded in 1886 and is the oldest charity in the UK, as well as Hope Pastures, the Flicka Foundation and Hope Rescue.
SEIB’s Marketing Manager, Nicolina MacKenzie, said: “Charities are facing some tough times ahead and we’ve been determined to not only make sure our finalists receive their SEIB grants, but that they also have the opportunity for some publicity through our virtual awards. I’m very grateful for the magnificent support we have received with staging these awards, in particular to Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials and the Horse of the Year Show for the efforts they’ve made to promote the SEIB Giving virtual awards.”
The full results for the final 10 charities in the 2020 SEIB Giving Virtual Awards…
£15,000 – Redwings Horse Sanctuary
£15,000 – Bransby Horses Rescue and Welfare
£7,000 – Doris Banham Dog Rescue
£5,000 – Gaddesden Place RDA
£4,000 – The Horse Trust
£2,000 – Once Upon A Smile
£1,000 – Hope Pastures
£1,000 – The Flicka Foundation
£250 – Hope Rescue
£250 – South Essex Wildlife Hospital