Riding for disabled Harrogate_2

Riding for the Disabled Association promises a very special volunteering opportunity in a bid to recruit much needed help

22 March 2023

The opportunities to volunteer a little of your time for some really great Yorkshire causes has never been greater but one local volunteer organisation, Riding for the Disabled Association, think they’re onto a winner.

The RDA group at Harrogate Riding Centre are hosting an open session on Tuesday 25 April* for people to come and find out just what a rewarding, fun and different experience volunteering with them is.

If they are to keep providing incredible opportunities to disabled children to experience something out of the ordinary, they urgently need some extra help. Experience with horses or children is not essential, training is provided, and they are just asking for 3 hours of your time on a Tuesdays during term-time, for anyone 16 years and over.

Each week children from 4 specialist schools from the Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon area ride ponies with the help of 3 volunteers per child.

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Shona Crichton, Principal at The Forest School, Knaresborough commented on what this means for the children:

For some of our children at The Forest School, the experience of being on a pony is transformational. We see children as young as 5 who have incredibly complex physical and or learning needs overjoyed at the freedom of movement they can’t achieve on the ground. Positive mood changes, confidence, social development and building core strength are other vital benefits. We are really grateful to the Riding for Disabled volunteers who give their time to make this happen.

Margaret Flannery has been volunteering for 4 years with the RDA group based near Burn Bridge in Harrogate:

I love it. Where else can I get my steps in for the day whatever the weather as we’re in an indoor arena, have a laugh with a great bunch of people, do something different to my normal routine and see what a difference I’m making to the children.

We really need more volunteers to join us though if we are to keep the sessions running so I hope we can recruit some more much needed volunteers as I’d really miss it if we couldn’t keep going.

To find out more about the open session and register your interest in it, or just to have a chat without any commitment, contact Jane on 07786980195. http://www.stockeldparkrda.co.uk

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