Volunteers sought for equine therapy

Cecilia AllenSound Telegraph

A much-needed service benefiting people with disabilities, special needs and mental health issues throughout the region is in need of more volunteers.

Peel Riding for the Disabled has been providing equine-based therapy to people with special needs of all ages for more than 35 years.

Secretary and volunteer co-ordinator Ali Thomas said volunteers were needed for a range of roles, including horse handlers, office workers, event organisers, cleaners, coffee makers, green thumbs and a handyman.

“Horse experience is not essential — we are happy to teach you all you need to know,” she said.

“As a volunteer at RDA, the journey you take is up to you but it’s an amazing experience that will keep giving.”

Peel Riding for the Disabled runs classes during school terms.

Riding is on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and carriage rides on Fridays from about 8.30am to about 2pm.

Ms Thomas said equine-based therapy had many benefits.

It can be very calming,

she said.

“I spent two years working with one little boy and after two years of grunting at me, he started saying ‘hello’.”

“Although these seem like small changes, they can mean the world to the parents.”

She said many kids with disabilities did not have regular sporting programs and for them, this was their sport and where they had the opportunity to do well.

People interested in volunteering are encouraged to attend a volunteer induction day on February 20 or 22, from 9am-noon, on Lugg Road, Baldivis, to learn more.

For catering purposes, those interested in attending should email peelrdavolco@hotmail. com, phone 0438 560 485 or find the group on Facebook.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails