Horse Power Pushing Clwyd Special Riding Centre

The Clwyd Special Riding Centre has continued to improve the lives of people with mental and physical disabilities via equine-based activities, with the help of a grant from the Steve Morgan Foundation.

CSRC offers many different activities for people with additional needs, including riding, carriage driving, equestrian vaulting, equine learning, therapy and hippotherapy, which is physiotherapy whilst on horseback.

The Centre can only function properly with the support of over 150 volunteers, and the Steve Morgan Foundation has provided a three-year grant of £37,449 to help with the role of Volunteer Co-Ordinator.

“The Volunteer Coordinator has a team of 153 volunteers in total,” explains Centre Manager Sorrel Taylor, a year after the start of the funding.

“Since the start of funding, 53 new volunteers have been recruited, including 11 students and three volunteer groups, which keeps the numbers around the same levels as we do lose some to employment or University.

“CSRC relies on volunteers for our day-to-day running and success as we only have a staff of 11, of which five are full time.

“Without volunteers we would cease to exist, and the Volunteer Co-Ordinator helps us to function and continue to offer equine activities to over 200 children and adults every week.”

Aside from the activities already mentioned, CSRC also hosts a Centre for Equine Learning and Therapy (CELT) which includes a fully mechanical horse with an interactive screen.

This facility, operating in conjunction with qualified physiotherapists, can assess how an individual’s balance has developed and also has a ceiling track hoist, height-adjustable work stations and a range of communication aids.

CSRC also houses a fully accessible holiday accommodation block with 18 beds which offers the opportunity for people with additional needs to take an equine-based holiday.

The ages of those benefitting from the centre range from just three months (hippotherapy) to 87-years-old.

One of the beneficiaries says: “I have Apert’s Syndrome and so I also ride at Clwyd Special Riding Centre.

“When I started I needed volunteers to help me to use the mounting block, to lead the horse, and to side-walk next to me.

“As I developed in confidence, and my riding skills got better, I needed less volunteers.

“I was lucky enough to qualify for the National Championships this year, riding a dressage test on my own.

“Volunteers from Clwyd Special Riding Centre supported us and five horses to get to Gloucestershire and we all had an amazing time.”

Sorrel says the grant from the Steve Morgan Foundation has helped make a “significant difference” to their work.

“The Steve Morgan Foundation funding has had a huge impact on the work we do with children and adults with additional needs,” Sorrel added.

“The three-year funding has allowed us to proceed with confidence, knowing that the role of Volunteer Coordinator is secure.

“We just have to say the biggest thank you to the trustees of The Steve Morgan Foundation.

“Clwyd Special Riding Centre is very proud to receive their support, which makes such a significant difference to the charity.”

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