Elisabeth Curtis Centre, Riding for the Disabled
What our service does
We provide mental and physical therapy for disabled people through the medium of horse riding. We do have some restrictions. The rider must be no more than 10.5 stone in weight. They must be weight bearing for at least a few minutes, so as to be able to mount the horse. We also have a waiting list for places on our riding sessions.
Location of our service
We are located in Bromham, Beds and take riders from anywhere in Bedfordshire
Who our service provides for
We cater for most types of disability but we will not tolerate violence towards our volunteer assistants. Our age range is from 5 years upwards. There is no upper limit. It would not be appropriate from a Health & Safety point of view to take riders younger than 5. We do not have a hoist, so we cannot offer our services to wheelchair users who cannot lift themselves from their chair on to the saddle. We have a raised mounting block, so the maneuver is similar to lifting themselves on to a toilet.
How to start using our service
Riders can make contact directly. We charge a nominal fee of £5 per half hour session. The first ride is an assessment ride and is free. The waiting list is 3 - 6 months for a weekday session, but considerable longer for Tuesday evening or Saturday morning - possibly a year or more.
How decisions are made about who can use our service
Decisions are made about the suitability of a rider by our highly qualified instructors, at the time of the Assessment Ride. They are very happy to discuss with riders, parents and carers why they think riding will or will not benefit a particular individual. Very few people are refused access to our services as long as they meet our initial criteria.
How we communicate with our service users
The majority of our riders are accompanied by a parent or carer. If there is a communication problem with a rider, the parent or carer acts as an intermediary. They are usually in close proximity throughout the riding session. Parents and carers can be trained as volunteer helpers, if they wish but most prefer to just watch.
Accessibility of our service
There is a bus route from Bedford that runs close to our stables. We have car parking. We have a wheelchair ramp to the main entrance and to the mounting block. We have a disabled toilet but no separate changing facilities. We have a waiting area with seats.
Qualifications and training of our staff
We are a member group of the national organisation, the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA). All instructors have RDA qualifications. All volunteers are trained by the instructors. All volunteers over 16 are DBS checked. Instructors and members of the Management Committee have taken online training in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults.
General Contact Information
The first point of contact would be the instructor in charge of the session attended by the rider. The chairman of the Management Committee is also available for support or advice, and is the CVPO.
Contact for more information
Record Last Reviewed On: 09/12/2015