MANX CARRIAGE DRIVING 4 DISABLED TO EXTEND ITS OFFERING
A charity which offers equestrian activities for people who have restricted physical mobility or are wheelchair bound is to extend its activities, thanks to a £5,000 grant from Manx Lottery Trust.
The support means Manx Carriage Driving 4 Disabled (MCD4D) can meet the costs of two ponies over the next 12 months to provide carriage driving sessions for pupils of Flexible Learning Academies (designed to support students with learning difficulties) in Island schools.
Established in 2014, MCD4D is based at Ballavartyn Equestrian Centre and offers opportunities for people with disabilities with pony and trap. All sessions are conducted under the supervision of an experienced carriage driving coach to make sure drivers have fun at the sessions and, most importantly, stay safe.
The project has already been trialled successfully in three Island schools and will now be made available to all Flexible Learning Academies which express an interest.
Liz Lillie, Group Organiser for MCD4D, said: ‘To be able to make the sessions more inclusive is super news and a sincere thank you to the Manx Lottery Trust for its generosity.
‘The benefits are clear and those who have taken part in the past have seen a number of improvements, including stronger muscles, improved co-ordination and balance, as well as working on social skills by making new friends, gaining confidence and having fun throughout the year.
‘We will be contacting the remaining schools and offering them the opportunity for new driving experiences.’
MCD4D, which has carriages with wheelchair facilities and three suitable pulling ponies, will also be recruiting and training new volunteers.
Sarah Kelly, Chairman of Manx Lottery Trust, said: ‘MCD4D offers a safe venue for people with a disability and is a great chance for them to drive a pony and carriage, as well as meet new friends. We were delighted to award them the grant so more people can get involved.’
If you would like to learn more about MCD4D please visit www.MCD4D.org