Urgent plea for riding school volunteers

A RIDING for the disabled group in a remote part of the Suffolk coastal district has today issued an urgent plea for volunteers.The Hollesley branch of Riding for the Disabled is based at Sutton and holds classes on five days of the week.

A RIDING for the disabled group in a remote part of the Suffolk coastal district has today issued an urgent plea for volunteers.

The Hollesley branch of Riding for the Disabled is based at Sutton and holds classes on five days of the week.

But people are desperately needed to help keep the groups going.

Chairman Shirley Green said: "We are always looking for volunteers to help out. Sessions cannot function safely and efficiently without a sufficient number of able-bodied helpers, and we are always glad to hear from anyone who has a couple of hours to spare."


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Disabled adults and children come to the centre from as far afield as Stowmarket and Saxmundham.

Classes are designed to help them with their balance, co-ordination and social skills. Most are based in the centre's indoor school, but the group also run carriage driving sessions.

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Mrs Green said: "Adults come to us from resource units across the county and children are directly referred to us by their doctors or physiotherapists.

"People often just think it's a bit of fun for them, but the medical benefits are huge. Many of the people that come to us are confined to wheelchairs and the very act of sitting on a horse while it's walking exercises lots of muscles that they wouldn't normally need to use."

The group first took over the site in Sutton back in 1993 when it was nothing more than a few muck-filled sheds.

A team of volunteers worked tirelessly to restore the buildings and began the first classes at the end of the year.

In 1995 the group secured National Lottery funding for a purpose-built indoor riding school, which is where classes take place today.

Horses come to the charity from a number of different sources. The group are currently awaiting the arrival of an ex-household cavalry horse, but many are donated by people who can no longer look after them for whatever reason.

All horses go through rigorous testing to ensure they have the placid temperament needed for work of this kind.

Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Mrs Green on 01394 411251 or group secretary Rosie Hepburn Clarke on 01394 411490.

No horse knowledge is necessary as full training will be given.

N Do you need more volunteers for your organisation? To let us know, write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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