The Big Interview: Volunteers at Kesteven Rideability are ‘truly inspiring’

Grantham Journal Business Awards 2014: Best Not-for-profit winner is Kesteven Rideability.
Grantham Journal Business Awards 2014: Best Not-for-profit winner is Kesteven Rideability.
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Kesteven Rideability is based at The Paddocks Riding Centre, Hough on the Hill, and offers riding lessons to the disabled community.

Founder Karen Thompson and trustee and secretary Sharon Watson told the Journal more about the organisation after being named Best Not-for-Profit Enterprise at the Journal business awards.

What did it mean to Kesteven Rideability to win this award?

It was a huge surprise and greeted with much excitement. The award recognises the hard work of all the volunteers who have been part of this amazing enterprise for the past 25 years. The work and dedication of the volunteers is truly inspiring – without their commitment the charity would not function.

How did Kesteven Rideability start?

It was formed in 1988 by Karen, and set up to provide horse riding to disabled children and adults from Lincolnshire. Over the last 25 years the group has continued to expand into many areas of equine activities including therapeutic and competitive horse riding.

What opportunities do you offer to disabled visitors?

Our aim is to provide a happy atmosphere where riders can progress at their own pace, enjoy interacting with volunteers and benefit from the therapeutic qualities of horse riding.
For those who wish to further develop their riding skills there is the opportunity to compete at regional and national level events. Every two years we also aim to take a group of riders to a residential riding centre in Wales. Here they have the opportunity to enjoy riding in the Welsh countryside while still being within a safe area. It is an excellent way for our riders to experience some time away from a familiar home environment, moving them one step closer to independence and allowing them to gain self-confidence.

What do you think the experience of riding gives to disabled people?

Riding gives them a sense of freedom and a chance to experience independence as well as learning new skills in an exciting outdoor activity. It improves their balance, co-ordination and confidence.

How can people get involved with Kesteven Rideability?

We are run entirely by volunteers, and we’re always looking for new helpers for a wide range of operational and managerial tasks. Whether you would like to prepare ponies for riding or prepare accounts for auditing, we look forward to welcoming you into our friendly team. All the information is on the website, including details of courses for RDA participants and volunteers on core skills such as grooming, horse care and riding.

Have you got any upcoming fund-raisers?

There is the one kilometre team abseil challenge on May 19, which entails 100 abseils at the PGL centre in Caythorpe. To sponsor the team go to our MyDonate page, and to take part email Details of other events are also on our website.