Broadlands with Global Giving two years on
Although Broadlands, assisting with children with physical and mental disadvantages, has been established even longer than the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), it was one of the first to be a part of RDA. Our goals have also broadened considerably. Not only do we now provide assistance for adults with disabilities, we are now venturing further into providing therapy for trauma and accident victims as well as those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). All of this for all our members can produce amazing results.
Recent research by the RDA supports what we see every day at Broadlands.
In just 12 weeks of tracking riders' progress we have seen:
We already have Rowan, one of our dedicated therapy horses, working with Jacky Nuth who has trained extensively in equine therapy; we also want to extend our abilities with more suitable horses and to train more staff.
Thanks to your generosity, we are now progressing towards the building of a dedicated therapy centre, on completion of which we will be able to offer even more possibilities for treatment. Building cannot yet begin because we still need more funding, but we are constantly working towards this goal.
Making donations, however small, will continue to grow our funds.
Photographs below illustrate the sad facilities we have. They really do need to be fully refurbished.
We will always want volunteers. We have many but, for example, one child with severe impairment requires at least two volunteers, so you can see our needs are great. Currently, we are looking for helpers on a Monday, Thursday and Saturday who can commit to coming along regularly to help. If you are not sure about working with ponies or riders with learning or physical difficulties, please come along and talk to some of the team and see what we get up to. If you would like further information, please phone Nigel on 01420 563611.
Another quarter has passed and the new viewing room is in regular use by parents, teachers and carers as well as the staff and volunteers. The straw barn, beside the gallery on the ground floor, is in the completion stage so that the straw for overwintering can be stored there instead of the old straw barn with its asbestos roof. This will be completed soon.
The Therapy Centre will be another huge effort and will allow many others to be helped, particularly those with PTSD and with life-changing issues that prevent them from enjoying life as they have done before. Riding is incredibly therapeutic for trauma sufferers as well as the conditions mentioned above. One of the horses, Rowan, was bought in part by Four Marks and Medstead Rotary some years ago and is now proving a very remarkable therapy horse. Yard Manager Jacky Nuth, thanks to generous donations, has been on training courses to be able to help those in need of this type of therapy and is already using those skills with Rowan as her primary therapy horse.
One of Jacky's first beneficiaries is Caroline whom I met first at the Broadlands RDA open day in July. Amidst the greenery of her stall, she told me about her stroke and its frustrations. I asked her about Rowan, with whom she has been working and is turning out to be a star therapy horse. Caroline loves Rowan, pictured above with Jacky. Caroline told me how wonderfully calming and soothing Rowan is, allowing her to lean against him. He nuzzles up to her and really makes her feel relaxed and happy. She says that Rowan is the best comfort she could have.
Once I have enough information to update the full project, I will be outlining, on the Global Giving site, what the steps will be to progress the construction of a new building dedicated to adult as well as child therapies.
2019 has seen an amazing project succeed in both its first and second objectives. The asbestos roof has been replaced and now has energy efficient LED lighting providing better economy and much-improved illumination of the arena. This was completed last year and this year we have ensured that the voluntary and paid staff have a warm place to do their administrative tasks and the parents and carers for the pupils have a great view of the arena and the children without the wind whistling around them outside.
This may not seem too important at the moment in the bright sunshine but come the autumn and the winter, it will make a huge difference. The wheelchair ramp and stairs make access possible for everyone.
As you will see from the images, the viewing gallery is now in use although the weather has not put much of a strain on that usage yet. We would still welcome volunteers for the finishing stage, but things are improving fast, as you can see. The final touch will be the mirror covering for the gallery windows so that the pupils will not be distracted by watchers in the gallery. The next quarter will not see much change as we now concentrate on raising funds for proper toilet facilities and a new therapy centre.
The next quarter will not see much change as we now concentrate on raising funds for proper toilet facilities and a new therapy centre.
Thank you to all our volunteers and donors. If you would like to help, please contact us via our website: https://www.broadlandsgrouprda.org.uk/
Although good progress was made early on, completion of the viewing gallery/office/hay barn took longer than we had hoped. Much has happened since the start of the year, however, and it is now near to completion. The image above shows the rear of the viewing gallery on the left with the completed barn to the right.
As you can see, the main building work is complete and the barn ready to use when access is complete. This will only happen when the viewing gallery and ramp are finished. All that is required is the wheelchair access ramp up to the gallery, heating installed, and the room finished for use (volunteers to help with painting will be much welcome).
The next image shows three windows on the right which will be coated on the school side with a mirror effect so that they can be used as a mirror by the riders and the staff while the families, teachers, carers and guests watching will be able to view from within the warmth of the gallery without distracting the riders. There are six windows in total, only three of which are in this image.
I have included some other pictures to show the configuration. I expect the stairs to be usable soon and then work on the ramp will begin.
All of this has been helped immensely by your kind donations. Once finished, we will be able to look at the next stage, the therapy school. The intention is that this will benefit a much wider range of people, not focussed just on children, with a number of conditions that can benefit from equine therapy such as accident victims and those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Yard Manager, Jacky Nuth, has undergone training as an Equine Therapist and is already using her knowledge to help even more than she has before.
End of 2018 Progress
It’s hard to believe that the Global Giving project for Broadlands RDA has been going for more than a year. The asbestos roof was removed, a new roof put in place with an increased footprint to make way for a new integral hay barn, viewing gallery including access for wheelchairs and a small office area for staff and volunteers.
This autumn has seen work begin on the hay barn itself as well as the new viewing gallery which will allow parents and carers to watch their children in comfort instead of standing around in the icy winter winds. The staff and volunteers will also appreciate a warm office area for admin. I have included some images of the ongoing work. This should be completed by the end of January.
Adam joins Broadlands RDA
On my visit today, I also met Adam on his first visit to Broadlands. Adam is eight and has been able to ride before at another stable, but when he moved up a class, he was no longer eligible. He was very happy to be riding again today. He was deprived of oxygen during birth for a considerable period which resulted in a number of difficulties. Riding will help to strengthen his core muscles and give him confidence and, most importantly, he is visibly happier when riding. He can be seen with Suzanne and two of the volunteers in one of the attached photographs.
I also saw Tom again today. He recently rode all the way home with his helpers and is very proud of this achievement. I am constantly amazed by the growing confidence of all the children who take part here. No matter what the disability is, I have seen improvements in happiness and health in all, adults as well as children.
Once the viewing gallery is completed with the office and hay barn, we will be looking at improving the equine therapy facilities. We are very aware of how much difference every donor makes. Please accept our deepest thanks for all you have done and don't forget about us. We are not just a school, not just stables, we are a community of people, volunteers, staff, families including parents and siblings as well as carers and supporters.
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