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New chairman appointed at riding for the disabled charity

PUBLISHED: 07:55 28 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:27 28 February 2020

Colin Perriss, new chairman at the Magpie Centre Riding for the Disabled. Picture: Magpie Centre

Colin Perriss, new chairman at the Magpie Centre Riding for the Disabled. Picture: Magpie Centre

Magpie Centre

A new chairman has been appointed at a Norfolk riding for the disabled charity.

Len Quick, from St Leonards Court at Mundford Residential Dementia Care Home, met Jupiter at the Magpie Centre Open Day last year which aimed to give dementia patients a chance to meet the horses. With them are Natalie Dade, yard manager, and Karen Black, right, assistant manager. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYLen Quick, from St Leonards Court at Mundford Residential Dementia Care Home, met Jupiter at the Magpie Centre Open Day last year which aimed to give dementia patients a chance to meet the horses. With them are Natalie Dade, yard manager, and Karen Black, right, assistant manager. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Colin Perriss has become the new chairman for West Norfolk Riding for the Disabled Association (WNRDA).

Mr Perriss has taken over the role from Rosie O'Grady who has been the charity's chair for more than 10 years.

WNRDA runs from the Magpie Centre at Wallington Hall, near Downham Market, and provides riding lessons and therapy to more than 100 disabled children and adults.

An annual general meeting in January welcomed in the new leader, who first joined the centre as a volunteer in September 2015.

Joyce Walford, left, from Dove Court Care Home at Wisbech, met pony Roger at the Magpie Centre Open Day last year which aimed to give dementia patients a chance to meet the horses. With them is volunteer Sue Pogmore. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYJoyce Walford, left, from Dove Court Care Home at Wisbech, met pony Roger at the Magpie Centre Open Day last year which aimed to give dementia patients a chance to meet the horses. With them is volunteer Sue Pogmore. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mr Perriss, who has a passion for horses, aims to promote the benefits of people with disabilities spending time with them by developing the centre's new projects such as 'tea with a pony' for those living with dementia and equine assisted therapy.

The 56-year-old said: "Horses came into my life quite late in life when I was 42, but I now ride weekly at the Magpie Centre.

"I would like to say thank you to Rosie O'Grady and to Jan Calvert who is stepping down as treasurer.

"Both Rosie and Jan have done an amazing job at the Magpie Centre over the years and are leaving the centre in great shape."

Jean Spalding, from St Leonards Court at Mundford Residential Dementia Care Home, met pony Roger at the Magpie Centre Open Day last year which aimed to give dementia patients a chance to meet the horses. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYJean Spalding, from St Leonards Court at Mundford Residential Dementia Care Home, met pony Roger at the Magpie Centre Open Day last year which aimed to give dementia patients a chance to meet the horses. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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The Magpie Centre has 90 volunteers who help with the running of the yard, pony care and assist with riding and carriage driving lessons.

MORE: West Norfolk riding for the disabled centre becomes dementia friendly.

Mrs O'Grady, who has been at the centre for more than 25 years, will still be involved in developing and running new projects.

She said: "Over this time the centre has grown tremendously with the number of clients trebling and with particular growth in the number of carriage driving lessons.

"Three days a week two horses go out together giving up to 30 lessons a week to people with disabilities.

"I will be continuing to support the Magpie Centre in every way possible and I'm really looking forward to seeing and helping the centre improve and broaden the service we can offer."

The Magpie Centre is looking for volunteers to help with carriage driving lessons on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Duties would include loading the participants' wheelchairs on to carriages and escorting them by following behind in a buggy.

No previous experience is required as training will be provided.

If you want to help contact the centre on 01553 810202.

READ MORE: Event held for people living with dementia to meet horses and witness carriage riding.


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