Our first full year was anything but smooth – from drought to bush fires to the COVID-19 pandemic it’s a wonder we achieved anything at all! But, thanks to our team’s amazing dedication and some incredible support from Sunshine Coast Council, program sponsors and a major donor the year ended with much to celebrate.
After six long months of fencing, rubbish removal, land preparation, construction, facility improvement works, volunteer training and selecting our herd of horses and ponies, we started programs in February 2020.
Finally being able to bring the dream to reality and start supporting children in need was incredibly rewarding and the culmination of three years’ work.
Just as programs got into full swing, the COVID-19 crisis hit and lock-down restrictions closed programs for many months. The pandemic also affected our supporters hard and public donations literally dried up overnight. Regular business sponsors were also forced to stop their financial support.
The future of the Sanctuary was looking very bleak indeed.
And then, just as everything seemed to be falling apart, we received some much needed financial support from a single donor who wishes to remain anonymous – someone who we’ve never met, who hasn’t visited the Sanctuary donated their COVID-19 business stimulus package to help us through.
We used this quieter time for two of our program mentors to undertake formal study in Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) through the Equine Psychotherapy Institute.
As restrictions began to lift, we were able to re-start programs in a modified way. Funding remains tight, donations have not yet returned to previous rates and we have just a single major cash sponsor (thank you Decjuba).
The Sanctuary would not be where it is today without:
- our major donor
- the Sunshine Coast Council
- the federal government’s COVID-19 business cash boost
- our incredible volunteer team
- our wonderful ongoing sponsors who provide us with free or discounted products and services