On Wednesday 13th October 2021, a gloriously warm autumnal morning, some members from The Littlehampton Rotary Club came to present a generous cheque for £1000 to Ferring Country Centre. On a previous visit to the Centre, they had decided that they wanted to support the Horse Riding Therapy Unit.

Keith Green, a Rotary Club member, explained that he had seen the amazing impact riding for people with a disability can have after supporting a Rotary club in Spain for 10 years. ”There’s nothing like watching a child’s face light up, who might be restricted to a wheelchair and used to looking up at people, suddenly sitting high up on a horse and looking down at them. The horse seems to understand them, there is a definite connection,” he said. He added that he thought Ferring Country Centre riding was wonderful because it caters not only for riders with special educational needs and disabilities but offers handling and horse care as an activity for Day Service Customers also.

The group were thrilled to have their photo taken next to Mr. Snuffles, one of the Centre’s calm, gentle horses, whilst presenting their cheque. Rosemary Green, the President of Littlehampton Rotary Club, explained that fund raising during Covid times and lockdown had been particularly challenging since big events or bucket collections hadn’t been allowed. “That fact makes the donation even more meaningful and appreciated, thank you!” Sam Kirk, Head of Commercial, responded.

Helen Bridger, riding school manager, said that the money will go towards enhancing the nature trail with a variety of stimulating and interactive equipment. The colours, movement and sounds will help to make the riders engage with their environment as they ride around the nature trail. Ferring Country Centre look forward to welcoming the group back to see, first-hand, how their money has been spent.

Following the presentation, the group went for a tour around the rest of the Centre. As they were shown around Ranger’s Café and Dales Farm, Rosemary and her husband Bruce, Chairman of Community Service commented, “It’s incredible the work that is being done here, what an amazing place.” Other members of the group were impressed that the play area had inclusive play equipment, including a round-about with ground level access for a wheelchair.

So, the weather was warm and glorious, but the kindness and interest shown by the Rotary Club was heart-warming in equal measure! Their donation will make a big difference and from all those who will benefit at Ferring Country Centre, we’d like to say a big “Thank you!”

Rosemary Green, the Littlehampton Rotary Club President and Helen Bridger, Riding School Manager with Mr. Snuffles.

Animals can offer an extraordinary amount of emotional support. Over time, riding therapy can help people of all ages work on issues such as confidence, trust in others, trust in self, social skills, emotional awareness and problem-solving. If you know someone who you think might benefit from Riding Therapy then please get in touch.

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