Horse charity harnesses council grant

Tuesday, 23 November, 2021

An equine charity is riding high after a council grant helped buy equipment to look after the ponies.

Broadlands Group Riding for the Disabled, based near Medstead since 1955, improves the lives of people with physical, learning and mental health disabilities through horse-riding, carriage driving and equine contact therapy.

Its local East Hampshire District Councillor, Cllr Diana Tennyson, granted the charity almost £1,000 to buy a battery-powered brush cutter and leaf blower to cut back the long grass and plants their ponies cannot eat.

Cllr Diana Tennyson visited the charity to see the equipment in action. She said: “The charity spends around £1,000 of the money it raises through donations on this kind of grounds maintenance.

“Now, thanks to our grant, a small group of volunteers can do it and that money can go towards more young people enjoying the fantastic experiences and opportunities Broadlands offers.

"I spent a lovely afternoon at Broadlands meeting the ponies and some of the staff. This is a wonderful place for children and adults with a broad range of disabilities to relax and enjoy riding and caring for the ponies.”

Nigel Hoppit, Chair of Trustees of Broadlands RDA, said: “Our environment is a key part of the support we offer. This equipment will help us keep it tidy and organised. If you would like to be part of the volunteer team please get in touch via the website.”

Broadlands provides more than 2,500 rides and carriage drives annually and is visited by more than 50 people every week.

It is run by around 90 trained volunteers who look after the 11 ponies and the 20-acre site and help the riders achieve their personal goals.