Cash award helps pay for club’s riding hats

The East Norfolk Riding for the Disabled group were awarded £416 in the EDP Community Chest to pay f

The East Norfolk Riding for the Disabled group were awarded £416 in the EDP Community Chest to pay for new riding hats.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Children at a horse riding club are looking smart in their new riding hats thanks to a cash award.

The East Norfolk Riding for the Disabled club were awarded £416 to pay for new riding hats by the Great Yarmouth Mercury's sister paper's the EDP, through their Community Chest Award.

Pat Lee, from Fleggburgh, who is the group's secretary, said: 'People were sending tokens in from as far as Gorleston and Watton. It was just lovely. We'd like to thank everyone for their help.'

The charity was founded in 1969 and uses horses and ponies to provide therapy and enjoyment to children and adults with disabilities.

Princess Anne is among the patrons of the charity which relies on a network of 500 volunteer groups who organise activities such as riding, carriage driving, vaulting, showjumping to up to 28,000 people each year across the UK.

The children at the East Norfolk group ride at the Croft Farm Riding Centre in Thrigby Road, Filby. The hats they had previously been wearing had to be replaced to conform to strict new guidelines.

They needed to buy a collection of 25 protective hats at a cost of around £40 each.

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Patricia said: 'We were really hoping we would get the funding as the hats were a safety issue and we had to find the funds to replace them.

'We thought it was just worth a try when we applied – it is something we would have to fund ourselves otherwise.'

Patricia joined the charity as a volunteer in 1997 and has been a member ever since and the group tends to deliver riding opportunities to around 70 adults and children each year.

'They are similar to the ones we had before but they are all up to the right standard now.

'We also have to raise £3,500 each year to help run the group which goes towards specialised ponies who are suitable for riding on as well as equipment.'

She added that the children did not know about the new hats until they saw a big box arrive and were very excited when they got to try them out for the first time.

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