Dis­abled rid­ing char­ity may close

Accrington Observer - - THE LAUGHING BADGER - Jon.macpher­son@men-news.co.uk @JonMacMEN

JON MACPHER­SON

ACHARITY which pro­vides eques­trian ther­apy for dis­abled chil­dren could be forced to close un­less a new per­ma­nent base is found.

North East Lan­cashire RDA founder Jody O’Brien has is­sued an ur­gent plea for help to find a new home be­fore win­ter ar­rives.

The char­ity was es­tab­lished at Stoney Knoll Farm in Oswaldtwistle in 2014 but two years later was forced to move out af­ter the site was sold off.

They have re­cently been us­ing the fa­cil­i­ties at Clough Bot­tom Farm in Hasling­den, how­ever Jody said they are re­stricted in what ser­vices they can pro­vide and the times they can op­er­ate.

The for­mer Moor­head pupil said: “It’s a re­ally busy liv­ery yard and be­cause there are so many peo­ple it is dif­fi­cult to run. We are re­ally strug­gling.

“The arena us­age is lim­ited to ten hours a week. We can’t work af­ter school ei­ther be­cause the liv­ery’s want to use the arena.

“What we need is some­where a lot more pri­vate where we can have our schools and be quiet and look af­ter our ser­vice users prop­erly with­out be­ing wor­ried about dogs run­ning around and things like that.

“We re­ally want to come back to Hyn­d­burn. That’s where I first set up and it’s where I would like to take the char­ity back to.

“If we can’t find any­where then un­for­tu­nately we are go­ing to have to close down.

“We would love to move be­fore the win­ter kicks in prop­erly. It would be a shame if we were to close down.

“Sadly our money is run­ning out and we are in a pickle.”

The char­ity has around 25 ser­vices users and pre­vi­ously of­fered sup­port to chil­dren at five schools in­clud­ing White Ash Broad­field in Oswaldtwistle.

Jody, who pre­vi­ously worked Lords House Farm rid­ing ther­apy cen­tre in Great Har­wood, said their new site would need spe­cific re­quire­ments to ful­fill their needs.

She said: “We need about six acres with room for three ponies and pos­si­bly an­other big weight­car­ry­ing horse. We also need an arena and stor­age and ide­ally on-site ac­com­mo­da­tion so I can run the char­ity prop­erly.

“We would love to be able to buy even­tu­ally but at the mo­ment we prob­a­bly have to rent.

“Per­haps an in­vestor could help us? We do have our eye on a prop­erty but we need the de­posit for the mort­gage.”

To help call Jody on 07923 477128.

North East Lan­cashire RDA

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