Grant helps riding for disabled charity improve facilities at Willington

Sue Hayhurst receiving the Queen's Award from Beds Lord Lieutenant Helen Nellis at Willington. PNL-150716-091126001

Sue Hayhurst receiving the Queen's Award from Beds Lord Lieutenant Helen Nellis at Willington. PNL-150716-091126001

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A charity providing horse riding as therapy to disabled children and adults has been able to improve its facilities thanks in part to a grant from the CLA Charitable Trust.

The Bedford and District Riding Association (BDHRA), in Willington, used the money from the landowners’ charity to upgrade stalls in its indoor riding arena with automatic water feeders. The work formed part of a wider project to create a cleaner, brighter, more hygienic environment for the riders, charity’s workers and horses alike.

Rebecca Twigden, trustee of the BDHRA, said: “We are enormously grateful to the CLA for their part in our renovation. It was a straightforward process applying for the funding and our new automatic water feeders really do cut down the amount of time we used to spend making sure our ponies had water.

“Each year we have to raise £25,000 for our running costs and this work was an additional project, so having funders out there who are prepared to help in this way is of great significance to us.

“Riding has been shown to help children and adults with disabilities socially, physically and emotionally. For some, just coming to the centre each week and mixing with our friendly volunteers is in itself a reason enough for attending, but it has a more profound impact upon others and helps strengthen their core muscles so they can sit for longer and move more freely.”

The BDHRA, an independent charity formed over 53 years ago, were recently awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, regarded as the MBE for volunteer groups, and Sue Hayhurst is pictured receiving it from the Lord Lieutenant Helen Nellis.

For more information about the CLA Charitable Trust, visit: www.cla.org.uk/about-cla/cla-charitable-trust. While to find out more about BDHRA, go to www.bdhra.co.uk/