From the CEO - Winter 2017
It’s been an awesome winter and at Pegasus you can see the fog and frost for miles.
And of course, we don’t stand still long enough for the frost to melt under our feet. We’ve finished the financial year in a positive position, thanks again to Marcus Quinlivan OAM. Marcus truly has provided the Pegasus Board with the assurance needed to address a deficit of $227,000 – the difference of the previous block funding to an income of only $19,000 through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) recouped in the last financial year. Without Marcus’ support, tough decisions would have been even more challenging.
These challenges bring exciting times for Pegasus. It provides an opportunity for Pegasus to expand our programs, and reach different cohorts of people who struggle with certain aspects of life.
After 44 years of being a Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) affiliate and our skills in working with people with a disability and our horses, Pegasus is well positioned to deliver more. We aim to expand our programs to reach people who struggle with anxiety, who may be isolated, disengaged or disadvantaged.
To help achieve this we invited Sally Francis, an RDA consultant to join us at a recent planning day to guide us as we broaden our horizons! Sally’s expertise and advice were invaluable and we all benefitted from her experience in upskilling and training Coaches and volunteers.
Whilst in its early days, we have been successful with an NDIS Business Investment Package (BIP). The Board sees great potential for doing more for more people. This package will provide the tools for us to diversify and support people with psycho-social disorders.
Hands Across Canberra has provided a grant to upskill our dedicated group of staff and volunteers to undertake an emerging therapy-based program – Equine Facilitated Therapy (well-being and learning) to support people with psycho-social disorders.
Beyond Bank has worked hard over the last eight months raising funds to support our first ever Pegasus vehicle! A new vehicle is a critical and significant asset for Pegasus and will help us with day-to-day operations and will reduce our reliance on staff and volunteers using their own vehicles! A major boost came along when we were delighted to be named as one of six charity beneficiaries of The Parliamentary Press Gallery Mid-Winter Ball – to the tune of $40,000! We are now eagerly researching an appropriate vehicle.
Additionally, the John James Foundation has provided funds to support grandstands and shade sails over the outdoor arena. It will enable us to optimise our spaces out here at Pegasus hosting this and other upcoming equine events, workshops or clinics. While on this topic, it would be remiss of me not to mention the enduring support of the John James Foundation. In the last four years, the Foundation has helped upgrade our arenas and improve our programs with funds totalling $55,750. Thank you to the John James Foundation.
The lead up to winter is a busy period so I hope you were able to attend our Open Day in May. It was another splendid event with over 2,500 people through our gate helping net an amazing $16,000. The Open Day is a wonderful community event and it gives me great pride for our staff and team of dedicated volunteers to showcase the very special work that we do.
And when you think about volunteers, boy, Pegasus has something to be proud of. We have over 250 volunteers and, in any given week, in excess of 130 supporting our programs. Our Open Day alone was only made possible through the efforts of over 132 volunteers. Thankfully we had the opportunity to recognise this support during National Volunteer Week and our Volunteer Appreciation Evening held at and supported by, Eastlakes Football Club.
In summing up all this news to you – yes, it’s a challenging time for Pegasus – and yes, it’s exciting. I sincerely hope you continue on this journey with us. If you are reading this, I know you are supporting us. And your contribution counts – whether as a donor, a volunteer, a participant, and particularly as one of our dedicated staff members. Thank you.