Help­ing Hands ‘shar­ing the love’

The Leader (Tasman) - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - CARLY GOOCH

One good turn de­serves an­other and that was ex­actly how the Rich­mond Rid­ing for the Dis­abled got a help­ing hand.

Ear­lier in the year, the Mitre 10 Mega Help­ing Hands project went to the aid of the Ro­manowski family.

Miro Ro­manowski, a young boy with cere­bral palsy and ataxia, was in need of a suit­able shower room he could be wheeled into on his wheel­chair with lights and a hand basin low enough for him to use.

Many hands made light work of the re­vamp project and money was raised from the com­mu­nity to help with fund­ing.

Mitre 10 Mega mar­ket­ing co­or­di­na­tor Mur­ray Lean­ing said once the con­struc­tion was com­plete, Miro’s mum, Eva Ro­manowski sug­gested the ex­tra funds went to the Rich­mond Rid­ing for the Dis­abled.

With Miro at­tend­ing the rid­ing ther­apy, Eva knew they des­per­ately needed work done on their arena.

‘‘She could’ve eas­ily said ‘Thanks, give us as much money as you can’ but she was like, ‘Ac­tu­ally, who needs it more is the Rid­ing for the Dis­abled.

‘‘That’s kind of the shar­ing the love thing that Help­ing Hands ... is about. The com­mu­nity spirit.’’

New Zealand Rid­ing for the Dis­abled As­so­ci­a­tion (NZRDA) pro­vides in­ter­ac­tion with horses for chil­dren and adults with phys­i­cal, in­tel­lec­tual, emo­tional and so­cial chal­lenges to de­velop in­creased abil­ity, in­de­pen­dence and self-worth.

In the last week of the school hol­i­days Lean­ing rus­tled up some labour from his team, in­clud­ing NMIT car­pen­try tu­tor Steve McIn­tyre and his teenage boys.

The re­de­vel­op­ment of the horse and train­ing arena re­quired a higher fence around the perime­ter as it no longer com­plied af­ter years of build­ing up the ground in­side the arena.

Lean­ing said work in­cluded build­ing an­other fence ’’hun­dreds of me­tres’’ around the arena, tak­ing off old rails and chain saw­ing posts to ground level, scrub­bing out horse troughs through­out the pad­dock, weed­ing and gen­eral main­te­nance.

It was a ‘‘huge job’’ but the place looked ‘‘amaz­ing’’ af­ter the over­haul, he said.

He said the crew did a full day’s work to com­plete the re­vamp which oth­er­wise would have taken weeks.

While the not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion had all the ma­te­ri­als they needed through fund­ing, they were not able to get fund­ing for the con­struc­tion, Lean­ing said.

‘‘That’s where they struck a stick­ing point be­cause they had all the stuff sit­ting there, they just couldn’t do any­thing with it.’’

Lean­ing said the labour in­volved would have cost more than $20,000.

Nel­son’s Mitre 10 Mega Help­ing Hands takes ap­pli­ca­tions from the com­mu­nity and or­gan­i­sa­tions need­ing a project done. Ten mem­bers of the Mitre 10 Mega team vol­un­teer their labour, tools and ma­te­ri­als.


Char­lotte Reeve of Nel­son Mitre 10 Mega works with fel­low staff who spent the day at Rich­mond Rid­ing for the Dis­abled in Cham­pion Rd, as part of the Mitre 10 Mega Help­ing Hands Project.

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