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Men’s Shed donation a boost for Riding for the Disabled Barwon

May 14, 2022 BY

The Clifton Springs Men's Shed presents the RDA with the $1200 cheque. L-R: RDA volunteer Di McCann, Clifton Springs Men's Shed vice president John Murphy, Clifton Springs Men's Shed president Stuart Davies, Clifton Springs Men's Shed member Robert Patridge and RDA volunteer Susan Dodson. INSET: One of the young RDA riders at Koombahla Equestrian Centre. Photos: NATHAN RIVALLAND

IN A WELCOME boost for the volunteer-led Riding for the Disabled Association Barwon, the Clifton Springs Men’s Shed has presented a $1200 cheque to assist the organisation in giving children with a diverse range of disabilities the opportunity to ride horses at Koombahla Equestrian Centre in Wallington.

The RDA has embraced the therapeutic benefits of horses for more than 40 years, focusing on giving all children between the age of five and 18 the opportunity to take part in the activity.

On Friday, children with a range of disabilities were taken through a riding session by a group of volunteers, with a cheque being presented during the formalities to assist the RDA in continuing their amazing volunteer-led service.

The Barwon branch of the RDA was delighted to secure the $1200 of funding, which would go towards making their programs more inclusive and diverse as well as assisting the group in buying new equipment for the sessions.

Children enjoying a ride around the park last Friday. Photo: NATHAN RIVALLAND

“This show of support from the Clifton Springs Men’s Shed is remarkable and we can’t thank them enough for this generous donation,” RDA volunteer Susan Dodson said.

“The wonderful cheque will go towards assisting our branch in buying new equipment for our riders as well as helping to assist in covering the registration fees that are associated with the RDA Australia-wide.”

President of the Clifton Springs Men’s Shed, Stuart Davies, was equally chuffed to be a part of the process, knowing the funds donated by their team were going to assist in areas they are incredibly passionate about.

“Giving back and providing for the community is what Men’s Shed’s are all about and when we heard about the amazing work that the RDA do with disabled children, we wanted to support them in any way we could.

“We have been involved with the RDA at Koombahla Equestrian Centre for three years now and we believe that anything to do with supporting children is a really important cause.

“Our Men’s Shed love seeing the smiles and excitement on the kid’s faces at each session and it certainly makes us feel great that we can assist in helping those fun times continue with this donation to the RDA.”

The Riding for the Disabled program, which is completely built upon volunteers, runs during the school term and involves core strength, muscle tone, balance, cognitive and speech development and social interaction with a focus on equestrian skills.

RDA volunteers guiding the children through their session. Photo: NATHAN RIVALLAND

Riding for the Disabled is always looking for volunteers who have a love for children and a will to help those in the community.

The RDA continue to be humbled by the support of the Clifton Springs Men’s Shed, Give Where You Live and the Geelong Community Foundation.

If you are interested in assisting the RDA by becoming a volunteer you need a Working with Children Check, and can register your interest by emailing [email protected]