Riding for Smiles is a new charity that uses the facilities at local equestrian centre, Coloured Cob Equestrian, and is based in Creswell, Worksop. It has been set up to help and support young people who are disadvantaged. Whether that be physically or mentally.
The charity is supported by research that equestrian activity helps to provide emotional and physical support, be it through horse riding or simply grooming a pony.
The charity has seen personal development in young people and improved social and co-ordination skills simply by interacting with horses. It welcomes people of all abilities and one special young man who stands out is Jono.
Jono has muscular dystrophy and is no longer able to weight bear, and has to be physically lifted onto the horse. When he is on horseback he is independent again. The horse acts as his legs and he has freedom from his chair.
Jono is 15 years old and lifting him is becoming more difficult. He is a regular with the centre as his family are keen riders and his cousin is a regular at Coloured Cob Equestrian.
As part of the Aviva Community Fund funding initiative, Riding for Smiles are asking for your help to vote for them, in order to purchase a hoist for the charity. A hoist would enable Jono to be independent and ride more and not rely on others to help him mount the horse.
The hoist would also allow others to access Coloured Cob Equestrian and benefit from a fun loving, happy riding experience. It would be a fabulous opportunity for other disabled young people.
You can vote for Riding for Smiles by visiting www.community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/17-4973.