Plea for donations to save Thanet Disabled Riding Centre from closure

Nora, shown receiving a donation last year from Tec Warriors American Car Club, says more help is needed

A riding school for the disabled which has been operating in Thanet for some 40 years could be forced to closed because donations have dried up.

Thanet Disabled Riding Centre, which has been at its current site at Maurice House in Broadstairs for 30 years, is entirely self-funded and  relies on donations from groups and individuals.

The centre is headed up by Nora Setterfield, 79, who received an MBE in 2013 for her dedication to the centre which helps children and adults who suffer from disabilities by providing riding lessons or just time with the horses and other visitors.

The centre has some 48 students each week as well as a number of children with special needs who help at the stables.

But the cost of keeping the centre open is £100 a day, covering everything from utilities to straw and feed. Donations over the past couple of years have come from organisations including Kent School of English and Tec Warriors but now more help is needed.

Nora said: “Our donations have dried up. We used to get them from Rotary and other organisations but it seems to have really slowed down. We are grateful for every donation but we need to find more to keep the centre running.

“There are 19 volunteers and I am here every day and I would hate to see the centre close. So many kids have benefitted, and still are benefitting. It isn’t just riding as we have lots of children from special needs schools who come and help and make new friends and it is so nice to see them chatting and having fun.”

Riders are aided by leaders and side-walkers and being at the centre, as a rider or helper, aids the building of strength, boosts confidence and improves communication skills.

To help with a donation call the riding centre on 01843 863481 or find out more on the website here

A fundraiser has also been launched by the Tec Warriors. To donate click here