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West Norfolk Riding for Disabled on lookout for volunteers to join team

West Norfolk Riding for the Disabled is looking for volunteers, from tea and cake makers to horse-savvy helpers, to join the team at the Magpie Centre.

Although some activities, including the popular Tea with a Pony sessions, are on hold until the spring, riding lessons and other sessions and events continue at Wallington Hall, South Runcton.

A spokesperson said: “However, we always need volunteers, offering a range of talents, from tea and cake-making at events, through DIY abilities to hands-on work with the horses.

A guest at a tea with a pony session meets Pebbles
A guest at a tea with a pony session meets Pebbles

“Right now, our need is for volunteers with experience of working with horses, to bring horses in from the paddocks, pick out feet, groom, tack up and lead horses into lessons.

“This role might suit people who ‘used to ride’ or ‘had a pony when they were younger’, and now want to regain their connection with horses.

“On Tuesdays, lessons run till 7.30 pm, and on Wednesdays till 6.30 pm, so these later slots might be possible for people who work during the day.”

Anyone interested can call 01553 810202 or visit www.rda-westnorfolk.org.uk and download a volunteer form. And for those whose time is limited, they can always join the Friends of Magpie for a monthly donation.

Looking back over the last year, the Centre's Tea with a Pony sessions were a great success, attracting 200 participants from April to September.

These afternoons enabled people with mobility issues, some from care homes, and others just wanting a relaxing outing, to enjoy tea and cakes in the wheelchair-friendly sensory garden.

The lovely little mare, Pebbles, was always the star of the show, eager to meet and greet everyone.

Tea With a Pony will be back next April.

Younger participants also enjoyed the Halloween Spooktacular, which attracted no fewer than 17 young riders to experience No Tricks – Only Treats.

Christmas activities are also planned. Young riders are invited to ride to post their letters to Santa! Call the Centre on 01553 810202 for more details. It's £25 per participant and open to everyone.

And from the stable yard, now that her surprise foal Luna is weaned and enjoying the companionship of another playful filly, the mare, Ginger, has come back into lessons and showing smaller riders ‘the ropes’.

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