Young fundraisers gallop to rescue

7 April 2017 7:35AM

Three horse-mad teenagers have played a vital role in helping a charity find a new home.

When Dora Crossland, Shellby Towers and Leah McArdle learned that an organisation which allows disabled children to ride horses desperately needed cash, they decided to help.

They organised a number of fund-raisers at Netherhall School which they attend, and have clocked up a staggering £700.

The teenagers have been volunteering at the Riding for the Disabled Association stables at Threapland, near Aspatria, as part of work experience for the past six months. And when they found out that the self-funding organisation was no longer able to operate from the base where it’s been for the past 12 years as the owners were selling up, they decided to step in and raise money.

The organisation held its last session at Low Farm last Friday and will move to a new base at Watch Hill in Aspatria next week.

Dora, 17, knows first-hand how important organisations like this are. “My brothers were disabled,” she said, “so I’ve been horseriding with them before they passed away in 2010. Since then, I’ve been interested in horses.”

And Leah, 16, added: “When we saw the way the charity was struggling and needed to find a new place, it wasn’t really an option, we knew we had to help.”

Riding for the Disabled has a team of 28 volunteers who run sessions for disabled children from West Cumbrian schools to get the chance to ride and get close to the ponies and horses. The charity’s chairman, Thelma Colder, said: “The girls have been absolutely marvellous – this money will go a long way.

“They have been an asset to us, it’s been a great relief to have them here as it is hard to get volunteers.”

The girls held a non-uniform day at school and organised a cake sale along with other games to raise the money.

Riding for the Disabled is also searching for an extra base in West Cumbria, along with its new home.

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