Two British charities shared the top spot in this year’s SEIB Insurance Brokers Giving Virtual Awards, with Bransby Horses Rescue and Welfare and Redwings Horse Sanctuary neck and neck from 1300 other organisations.
More than 36,000 nominations were received, and the two winners were each granted £15,000. Eight other charities reached the final voting stage and shared a further £20,500 of the total pool of £50,000.
The SEIB Giving Awards were due to be held in London on March 20, but when the awards were cancelled because of Covid-19 a quick decision was made by SEIB to go ahead and move them online. The recipients were announced each day through video posts on SEIB’s social media.
Redwings Chief Executive Lynn Cutress said the charity was delighted to have been awarded £15,000 and thanked supporters.
“As a charity 100% funded by donations from the public, this generous grant will go a long way towards caring for our 1500 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.”
Sally Crawford, of Bransby Horses, said the £15,000 would go towards purchasing a Kabota vehicle to be used at its Barlings site, where more than 50 horses and ponies had been moved as a result of Bransby’s land being ravaged by the floods. “We are absolutely delighted. Working since the November 2019 floods has been tougher than usual and though the waters have finally subsided, the fallout from this devastation continues. Thank you so much SEIB from us all here at Bransby Horses.”
The SEIB Charity Awards have strict entry criteria; only small and medium charities are eligible. In previous years the criteria required that the grants should be used for a specific capital project. However, in light of Covid-19 SEIB realised how difficult it will be for charities to operate this year and on this occasion, the money may be used for running costs to help keep the charities afloat.
Other equine recipients included Hertfordshire based, Gaddesden Place Riding for the Disabled (RDA), which received £5000. The UK’s oldest horse charity, The Horse Trust – founded in 1886 – earned a grant of £4000. Hope Pastures and the Flicka Foundation were granted £1000 apiece.
SEIB’s Chief Executive Officer, Barry Fehler said: “I am immensely proud of my company and 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 am delighted that we have been able to grant this money to such wonderful causes at this moment in time when it is so desperately needed.”
SEIB’s Marketing Manager Nicolina MacKenzie said charities were facing some tough times ahead and the company was determined to not only make sure that the finalists receive their SEIB grants, but that they also have the opportunity for some publicity.
SEIB works closely with the charitable sector and insures many charities and non-for-profit organisations. Whilst SEIB is an independent broker, the company is owned by the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group that is in turn owned by the charity Allchurches Trust.
The SEIB team does a huge amount for local charities and SEIB has supported the Burghley Sponsored Ride for the past six years by covering expenses so all proceeds go to charity. It has raised more than £250,000 during its history.