Despite Andy Murray playing (and winning!) in the Wimbledon Final the previous Sunday, the local community turned up in force to support ‘The Chigwell Riding Trust For Special Needs’, and raise well needed funds at their annual Open Day.
Visitors had the chance to meet the horses and ponies, watch the riders and horses in action in a demonstration lesson, and take part in various family favourites such as the coconut shy and hoop the duck. An ice-cream van and a stall selling Pimms provided welcome refreshment in the scorching summer sun.
Established for nearly 50 years, the trust was the first riding centre in the world for people with special needs, and provides riding instruction to around 160 riders of all ages and abilities each week, relying solely on donations, and the goodwill of the community to keep the centre going and provide these valuable facilities.
Any offer of help with The Chigwell Riding Trust is received with appreciation, with some volunteers helping out an hour a week and others many more. You do not need any experience or knowledge of horses, as the qualified on sight staff show you what to do.
The Trust has a real family feel, and volunteering is a great way to meet new people and contribute to this brilliant cause.
2014 will see the Chigwell Riding Trust celebrating its 50th Anniversary; Manager Deborah Hall tells us that they “hope to raise £50,000 during their 50th year.”
Visit the Chigwell Riding Trust website at www.chigride.co.uk to find out more about the organisation, including information on becoming a volunteer, and to make a donation if you wish.