Council funding helps launch new carriage driving project

Nearly 100 children and adults with physical, sensory and learning disabilities will soon be able to take part in horse carriage driving in the local area, thanks to funding from Richmond Council’s Civic Pride Scheme.

Park Lane Stables Riding for the Disabled Association, based in Teddington and at Oak Avenue in Hampton, has received £5,000 towards the set-up of a Carriage Driving Project. The project will enable disabled children and adults, particularly those who are unable to ride due to the nature of their disability – for example, those who are wheelchair-bound – to have the opportunity to take part in horse-related activities.

Park Lane Stables is a friendly and inclusive Riding for the Disabled Centre, offering local children and adults with a wide range of disabilities, learning difficulties and mental health issues the opportunity to ride and care for horses and ponies.

The new carriage driving project will help the participants take part in a physical sporting activity, learn new skills, improve their confidence and communication skills and be part of a team.

The Council’s Civic Pride Fund is available to individuals or groups who want to organise a project or event to improve their local area and deliver more for their local communities. Grants of up to £5k are available to organisations and £1k for individuals.

Cllr David Linnette, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Voluntary Services, said:

“Horse riding, or just being near horses, is proven to be highly therapeutic – both physically and mentally for people with physical disabilities, learning difficulties and mental illnesses.

“Hopefully this funding will ensure that even more people will be able to access the stables, making a positive difference to participants’ fitness, happiness and general well-being.”

Natalie O’Rourke, from Park Lane Stables, added:

“We are so grateful to Richmond Council and the Civic Pride Fund for this grant. It will make such a difference to the lives of so many local people who, until now, have not been able to take part in our Riding for the Disabled activities.

“The funding has helped us to buy our new driving horse, Samson and his harness. A big thank you also goes to local company and supporter, H&L Motors who donated our bespoke, wheelchair-accessible carriage.

“Samson and our instructors are now undergoing training and we are almost ready to go with this exciting new venture!”

Find out more about Park Lane Stables’ Riding for the Disabled Centre

Find out more about Richmond Council’s Civic Pride Fund

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