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Central England Co-op Community Fund boosts Magpie Centre, West Norfolk Riding for the Disabled's work with young people




With the start of the new school term, riding lessons have resumed at the Magpie Centre, home of West Norfolk Riding for the Disabled.

And funding for these lessons has received a huge boost from the Central England Co-op Community Fund, even though only one of its stores, in Terrington St Clement, is in the Co-op and West Norfolk RDA catchment areas.

A grant of £3,700 will help to fund vital lessons for young people, living with a wide range of physical and learning disabilities.

Magpie Centre, West Norfolk Riding For The Disabled Association at Wallington Hall near Downham Market, now open after Covid 19 Lockdown...Jason Holland (9) taking his lesson on Susie, along with Hugh Pearce and his sister Daisy Holland (13) taking her lesson on Rye..Picture By Paul Marsh. (46572806)
Magpie Centre, West Norfolk Riding For The Disabled Association at Wallington Hall near Downham Market, now open after Covid 19 Lockdown...Jason Holland (9) taking his lesson on Susie, along with Hugh Pearce and his sister Daisy Holland (13) taking her lesson on Rye..Picture By Paul Marsh. (46572806)

Caroline Dudley, who volunteers at the Magpie Centre, and shops at the Terrington store, said: “I picked up a leaflet about the fund, and mentioned it to our trustee who deals with grant applications.

“I never thought we’d have a chance, because we are right on the eastern edge of the Central Co-op area.

“Next thing I knew, we’d been awarded a grant to subsidise 200 lessons.

“The benefits of riding, to people living with disabilities, is immense and range from the obvious physicalones to an improvement in communication skills and social confidence. I was over the moon” she added.

Funds for the Magpie Centre sensory garden, officially opened in July by the Princess Royal, also received a welcome boost, thanks to the efforts of two trustees, Jan Calvert and Andy Beeston, who completed the Grand East Anglia Run last month in very good times and raised more than £700 in sponsorship for the garden.

Jan said: “Completing the run was a fantastic experience, and many thanks to the kind people who so generously sponsored us.’

A second pilot session of Tea With a Pony took place early in September and was a huge success.

These mornings aim to attract people living with dementia and their carers, who can socialize over tea and cake in the sensory garden and stroke some of the gentle ponies. The cost is £10 per person, including carer.

A further session is scheduled to be held in October. To book, call the Centre on 01553 810202 or visit the website www.rda-westnorfolk.org.uk.

The Magpie Centre 2022 calendar is also now in production and will be available from early October, featuring lots of pony pictures.

They will be on sale from Chalk and Cheese in Shouldham, or West Winch Post Office. Alternatively, they can also be ordered via the RDA website.



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