A massive community effort has assured the future of the Thanet Disabled Riding Centre in Broadstairs for at least the next year.
In July the riding school, which has been operating in Thanet for some 40 years, issued a plea for help as it faced closure due to donations drying up.
The 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.
Thanet residents, groups and organisations swung into action and a massive £35,000 has been raised – enough to pay for day to day operations for another year.
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. There are some 48 students each week as well as a number of children with special needs who help at the stables and 19 volunteers.
Nora said: “It is lovely, people have been wonderful and I am really grateful. There has been support individuals and groups too numerous to mention, clubs, football groups, pubs, all sorts.
“I can now fill the barn up with hay without worrying about it when I get home. We just want to thank everyone.”
The cost of keeping the centre open is £150 a day, covering everything from utilities to straw and feed.
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.
Nora says some groups have nominated the centre as their charity for next year and she hopes fundraising will continue.
To help with a donation call the riding centre on 01843 863481 or find out more on the website here