Over 80 riders and volunteers will benefit from an NZCT grant of $39,000 to the Wanganui branch of the New Zealand Riding for the Disabled Association (NZRDA).
The branch previously had the use of a horse truck, but when this failed its certificate of fitness, they reached out to NZCT for help.
“With the support from NZCT to purchase a horse float, we are now able to make use of the grazing around the region,” says Jalissa Gage, Secretary for the Wanganui RDA. “This will allow us to run more horses and keep our current team happy to help more people.”
Wanganui RDA assisted 64 riders over the past year. The NZCT grant fully covers the cost of the new float and also contributes towards buying a towing vehicle.
The NZRDA is a unique organisation in that it relies on animals to assist with the therapy of the people it supports. The horses need to be preforming at their physical and mental peak when they are participating in sessions. Taking the horses for a ride offsite each week keeps them fresh and ready to help.
Jalissa says the Wanganui RDA has a significant positive impact on people in the community who are disabled.
“We give people with a range of disabilities ability. Be it freedom of movement, communication skills, self-confidence, social skills and much more. Our programmes are tailor-made for each individual and work alongside their other support networks to achieve common goals.”
Over the years NZCT has been a major supporter of Wanganui RDA, helping to fund a range of items and projects.
“Without NZCT we would struggle to achieve what we do on a daily basis,” says Jalissa. “We have a waiting list at present and with the support of NZCT we are making improvements to be able to assist more people with our programmes.
“We have a great relationship with NZCT and are incredibly grateful for their ongoing support,” she adds.
The Wanganui RDA are also in the middle of fundraising $445,000 towards buying the property they are currently based at.