Wenlo Riding for the Disabled Association Group (Wenlo RDA Group), in Loughborough, is celebrating the opening of a new bridleway, thanks to a much-needed donation from Tarmac.
Based at Meadow School of Riding, Wenlo RDA Group is a volunteer-led charity which offers adults and children with physical and/or learning difficulties opportunities to ride, carriage drive and look after horses – boosting health, confidence and self-esteem.
While many of the activities available take place in an indoor school on-site, to access off-road riding on public bridleways riders would have to venture out on horseback via busy public roads, with passing vehicles.
On hearing of the additional challenge faced daily by the group and its riders, the team from Tarmac’s nearby Mountsorrel Quarry stepped in with a donation of 300 tonnes of aggregates.
With additional support from A & V Squires Plant Company Limited, a bespoke bridle path has now been constructed using the donated material. The bridleway safely bypasses any public roads and is inaccessible to traffic, improving safety and providing access to the full site.
The project has enabled Wenlo RDA Group to provide additional activities to many more participants, which include ‘therapy through horses’ sessions – for people with mental health challenges – and ‘tea with a pony’ activities, for those with Alzheimer’s, Dementia or who are experiencing loneliness.
Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal – who is president of the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) UK and known for her love of horses – attended an event to officially open the track. It is now available for participants, visitors, staff and volunteers to enjoy and can be used to walk around the facilities, view the carriage rides and more.
Photos provided by Nigel Kirby Photography
Mick Stevens, estates manager at Tarmac, who worked with the riding school to organise the donation, said: “I am elated to see that the donation from Tarmac has made such a difference to the Wenlo RDA Group and to everyone who attends the facility. It’s great that the group can now offer more activities since the track was constructed and we’re proud to have been able to lend a hand.”
Rob Lees, area operations manager at Tarmac’s Mountsorrel Quarry, said: “This has been a wonderful opportunity to help the Wenlo RDA Group, which provides so much for the local community and people dealing with mental and physical challenges. I am very happy to hear about the tremendous impact that Tarmac’s donation has had and that the benefits will be felt throughout local and wider communities.”
Sharon Garner, chair, trustee and volunteer at Wenlo Riding for the Disabled Group, said: “I would personally like to say a huge and heartfelt thank you on behalf of everyone at Wenlo Riding for the Disabled Group for the amazing and generous help that we have received from Tarmac for making our dream of a safe and off-road track come true.
“The track has been a dream of our group and charity for many years and it is now benefiting over 160 adults and children with physical and learning disabilities and mental health issues from all over.
“I must mention Mick Stevens visited us and was able to see for himself who we are, what we do and the results we achieve, as well as the difference we make to the lives of our volunteers and participants.
“We will be forever grateful for everything that Mick and Tarmac have done for our group and as a charity are very proud to call them ‘Friends of Wenlo Riding for the Disabled Group’.”