Stockport horse riding group gains support from Countryside

Countryside donation to Middlewood Riding for the Disabled

Middlewood Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) has received support from our Merseyside and Cheshire West region, towards its work helping to enrich the lives of local children.

Based at Bank Farm in Poynton, Stockport, Middlewood RDA has been presented with £500 to help with the rent of the ponies and facilities. Open every Thursday during term time, the organisation provides free riding lessons to children with physical and learning disabilities and autism in the Poynton and Stockport areas. The children are taught by the RDA coaches and supported by the Group’s volunteers.

Our donation comes as work progresses on the new care home at Woodford Garden Village. The project will comprise 87 apartments across three-storeys and 17 two-bedroom bungalows for older residents. Built on the former Woodford aerodrome site, the homes will be available through affordable rent and shared ownership schemes.

Middlewood is one of the member groups of RDA North West, which are run by volunteers across the region and UK-wide, with all riding coaches trained by RDA, to offer the therapeutic benefits that horses can provide.

Middlewood Riding for the Disabled donation

Alison, Mum of 10 year old Middlewood student, Mikey, commented: “Riding is the highlight of Mikey’s week. It’s more than just riding - it’s keeping fit, meeting new friends and having fun. The volunteers are brilliant and now a part of his life. They encourage and support him, and the progress he has made is incredible.”

Lucie Pettit, Chair of Middlewood Riding for the Disabled, said: “Ponies have a magical effect on our young riders. They don’t judge. They don’t know if you have a disability.  Everyone is equal on four legs! The joy riding brings to these children is immeasurable. The new skills, friendships and gentle guidance from our volunteers and coaches is really something special. Thank you to Countryside for its very kind and generous donation to our group, it is helping to enable this fantastic opportunity for the disabled children in our community to continue. We are very grateful.”

Gemma Hardy, Managing Director, Countryside Partnerships Merseyside and Cheshire West, commented: “The work that Middlewood Riding for the Disabled does is so important for both the children it teaches and the wider community. It provides a space for children to feel safe, develop and enjoy themselves. We’re proud to be able to support this amazing organisation and play a small part in helping to keep the group running. As we build the new extra care homes at Woodford Garden Village, we look forward to continuing to support and build stronger links with the local community.