Charity is looking for volunteers

Eastbourne Area Riding for the Disabled session at Bedes School Upper Dicker. Sarah Groom the organiser and leader with one of the horses and a happy rider. September 11th 2013 E37267P
Eastbourne Area Riding for the Disabled session at Bedes School Upper Dicker. Sarah Groom the organiser and leader with one of the horses and a happy rider. September 11th 2013 E37267P
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A charity which meets each week for children with disabilities to benefit from riding with horses and ponies is looking for volunteers.

The Eastbourne Area Riding for the Disabled Association (EARDA) was set up by Sarah Groom back in November 2010. The 41-year-old has ridden horses all her life and it was that and her job as a physiotherapist and a meeting with a lady who was involved with riding for the disabled that led to her setting up a local group.

Since its beginning the group, which runs solely with the support of volunteers, has been filmed by a local crew for ‘A year in the life of’ piece for a documentary and has also received a grant to go towards buying a New Forest pony for the group.

The animal, called Rumney, is one of the many friends the children make during the sessions which run every Wednesday afternoon at Bedes School in Upper Dicker and are for four to 16-year-olds with a disability.

Sarah, who is the group’s instructor and chairman, said the sessions have amazing benefits for the young people, “The physical benefit is it helps children with movement difficulties and for people with cerebral palsy the riding uses the same muscles they need to walk.

“There is an emotional connection with the horses too they are such loving creatures and for children that find every day life difficult, being able to go on a horse has amazing benefits.”

EARDA, which entered its first competition in May, would not be able to run without the volunteers that help out and is always looking for more to help out.

If you would like to find out more about the group, become a volunteer or are a business that can sponsor the charity please contact Sarah at: sarahgroomearda@live.co.uk or visit the website: www.earda.org.uk