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West Norfolk riding for the disabled centre becomes dementia friendly

PUBLISHED: 19:37 20 November 2019 | UPDATED: 19:37 20 November 2019

Len Quick, from St Leonards Court at Mundford Residential Dementia Care Home, meets Jupiter at the Magpie Centre Open Day aiming 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

Len Quick, from St Leonards Court at Mundford Residential Dementia Care Home, meets Jupiter at the Magpie Centre Open Day aiming 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

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The west Norfolk riding for the disabled centre is to introduce riding for people living with dementia.

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

Horses and ponies at the Magpie Centre at Wallington Hall provides therapy to more than 100 disabled children and adults.

An open morning held on Friday, October 25 at the centre, which is located off the A10 between Downham Market and King's Lynn, to showcase what was on offer for people living with dementia.

The event, which was organised by the staff volunteers, demonstrated carriage riding to more than 12 visitors and their carers. People living with dementia had the chance to meet and greet the ponies, view a demonstration of the centre's specially-commissioned wheelchair-accessible carriage, and experience a 'sensory table', featuring grooming equipment, a sheepskin saddle, plus items of saddlery such as bits and stirrups.

Michael Owen, activities co-ordinator at Dove Court Care Home, in Wisbech, said: "The residents really enjoyed their visit to the Magpie Centre.

Staff and volunteers at the Magpie Centre demonstrate getting a wheelchair on a carriage for carriage driving for the disabled, at the Open Day aiming to give dementia patients a chance to meet the horses. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYStaff and volunteers at the Magpie Centre demonstrate getting a wheelchair on a carriage for carriage driving for the disabled, at the Open Day aiming to give dementia patients a chance to meet the horses. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

"It was very therapeutic and brought back to several of them their memories of horses from the past.

"They were very happy after their visit and some of them were talking about it for the next four days at least."

Staff and volunteers have since been delivered a training session by Anne Cauvin, volunteering officer at the Alzheimer's Society in Norwich to help make the centre a 'dementia friend.'

Tea with a Pony sessions for people living with dementia and their carers are expected to begin in the New Year.

Joyce Walford, from Dove Court Care Home at Wisbech, meets pony Roger at the Magpie Centre Open Day aiming to give dementia patients a chance to meet the horses. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYJoyce Walford, from Dove Court Care Home at Wisbech, meets pony Roger at the Magpie Centre Open Day aiming to give dementia patients a chance to meet the horses. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Magpie centre at Wallington Hall is looking for volunteers to make and serve tea and cakes for these sessions and help with major fundraising events.

You can contact the centre on 01553 810202.

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