Category Archives: Get Involved

Horse Appeal – Fundraising Ideas

Horse appeal

We want to raise £20,000 as quickly as we can, so we can get more horses who help people. There are lots of good things you could do, but if you want to keep it on theme, here are

5 Fun Horsey Ways to Fundraise!

Hobby Horse Race

Shut your street for a couple of hours (It’s super-easy with a Playing Out licence), charge a fee for entry and get your whole community cheering on the kids.

You could have different categories for different ages, and create a festive atmosphere with tea, cakes etc.

 hobby Horse C Barry Caruth

1 Image Copyright Barry Caruth

 Race Nightcolourfuljump

No need to head to the race course, you can recreate the atmosphere anywhere!

There’s a good how-to link here:


Equestrian dress up day?

hockey costume

Instead of superheroes, why not dress as a jockey, cowboy or even a horse at work or school? You could keep it simple and just wear a Polo Shirt for the day.


“Neigh”bourhood SaleJumble Sale copyright MC Morgan

Take advantage of the trend for decluttering, set up a table top or jumble sale in your local area. You could charge for a table, or charge entry and let people rummage.




fun warning  “Fooling around, foolish behaviour, clowning, fooling, tomfoolery, buffoonery.” Could you get sponsored for something silly? Sitting in a bath of beans? Shave your head? Walking backwards? A silly obstacle course? The only limit is your imagination!






So that’s some horse-y ways to fundraise, but there are loads more:

You could…

  • Have a coffee morning or clothes swap or wine tasting evening!
  • Give something up: smoking, drinking, computer games, social media?
  • Do something exciting: run, walk, ride, hop further than you’ve ever been before.
  • Organise a beetle drive or a quiz in your local pub
  • Put a collection bucket in your business
  • Have a yard sale or take a table of “preloved” goods to a table top sale

Once you’ve decided what you’re going to do, get to our JustGiving page and register as a fundraiser.Horse appeal

makaton image

Makaton and riding lessons

makaton imageIf you’re an arena volunteer and are working with people who use Makaton to communicate, you might find it useful to check out this handy guide to some of the vocabulary you’d need in a lesson.

Makaton is used to supplement spoken language for people who are learning to use spoken language, so you can use it alongside speech when you’re communicating with riders.

Safeguarding for Volunteers



Safeguarding is the action taken to protect children and vulnerable adults from abuse and neglect. As a Centre safeguarding is extremely important to us. Below we explain a bit more about Safeguarding and urge that all of our volunteers completed the online training course as detailed in this newsletter.




Children – a young person under the age of 18


Vulnerable Adult – Someone 18 years or over who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of disability, age or illness; and is or may be unable to take care of and protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.

What is Abuse

Abuse is mistreatment by any other person or persons that violates a person’s human and civil rights. The abuse can vary, from treating someone with disrespect in a way that significantly affects the person’s quality of life, to causing actual physical or mental suffering. Types of abuse are:


  • Physical Abuse: hurting or injuring by hitting, pushing, restraint, poisoning, etc.
  • Sexual Abuse: director or indirect sexual exploitation by involvement in or exposure to inappropriate sexual activity or pornography
  • Psychological or Emotional Abuse: treats, intimidation, coercion, harassment, bullying, belittling or inappropriate parent/carer expectations
  • Neglect: Persistent lack of appropriate care, ignoring medical, physical or emotional needs, depriving of medication, adequate nutrition and heating.
  • Financial Abuse: theft, or undue pressure in connection with money or possessions.
  • Discriminatory Abuse: inappropriate treatment based on a person’s disability, ethnic origin, gender or sexuality.
  • Institutional Abuse: repeated instances of poor care, ill treatment or unsatisfactory professional practice.
  • Grooming: attempting to befriend or win favour with a child, vulnerable adult or their carer. The ‘grooming’ as it is called enables the offender to gain access to the child or vulnerable adult or to be in private proximity to them for an ulterior motive such as sexual or financial abuse.


What must I do if I am concerned?


  • If the person has choosen to speak to you directly about the issue, advise them that you are there to listen without judgement but the information they tell you will need to be shared. If the person decides not to share at this point, do not coax them into speaking.
  • Allow them to speak without interruption and write down the conversation as you go, using the actual words they are using where possible, do not ask leading questions.
  • Reassure them that you will pass this information on for investigation, do not promise that you can stop the situation immediately.
  • Report the concern immediately to one of the Centre’s Safeguarding Officers – Yvette Whiffen, Andrew Manning or Gill Edwards. Information should be kept confidential. Only share by exception.

How can I learn more?


We advise that all of our volunteers complete the online RDA safeguarding training course if they have not already attended the course. Details of how to do this can be found at


If you are not a volunteer and have a concern about someone who attends the Centre, please contact Yvette Whiffen, Safeguarding Officer.

Our full safeguarding Policy can be found here:


Volunteer Coach Vacancies

Vacancy: Volunteer RDA Coach

We are currently recruiting Volunteer RDA Coaches:

(Minimum 2-3 hours per week, weekday, school term time only)

We are one of the largest Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) Centres in the country.  We provide therapeutic riding lessons to 190 riders with a wide range of disabilities every week.

Our coaches work with up to 6 riders and lead a team of 6-18 volunteer helpers per session. There are opportunities to work with adults or children, with physical disabilities, learning disabilities or both. They also lead individual sessions on our horse simulator.

You must be focussed, enthusiastic and inclusive and a team player.

Applicants must have some technical knowledge of riding: an understanding of Walk, Trot, Canter and simple dressage movements.

We provide a tailored RDA training course, with the opportunity to work towards UKCC qualifications.

For further information, please contact Kim Langbridge at or 0117 959 0266


Stable Manager Vacancy

Avon Riding Centre & Bristol Horse Riding

Stable Manager

Avon Riding Centre for the Disabled Ltd and its sister organisation Bristol Horse Riding Ltd are based in 40 hectares (100 acres) of rural land on the outskirts of Bristol. We provide lessons to over 190 disabled and 100 non-disabled riders each week. We now wish to appoint, to a new role, a proactive Stable Manager to manage our yard and to help us on the next step of our journey.

We currently have 25 equines, and are looking to grow this number by up to 50%. We are also looking to organise and host more events in our large indoor and outdoor arenas.

In this role you will oversee a busy yard including managing and training a team of staff; manage all aspects of horse welfare; assist with the acquisition of new equines and develop training programs for current equines; maintain appropriate stock levels within set budgets.

You will have hands on management experience in a comparable role and sound experience and knowledge in all aspects of current good practice in horse care. Ideally you will be educated to BHS Stable Managers Certificate and UKCC Level 3.

You will join and lead a team including a Head Instructor, Head Groom, freelance instructors, full and part time Grooms, and apprentices.

Are you an experienced, organised, self-motivated individual who would like to be part of creating a centre of excellence for disabled and non-disabled riding? Are you able to positively develop and motivate staff and volunteers? If so, then we would love to hear from you.

For more information or to arrange a site visit please call Yvette Whiffen on 01179 959 0290 email

 Closing date 12.00pm on Friday 28th October 2016

ARC is an equal opportunities employer

Co-op Community Fund

We have been selected to receive funding from the Co-op Local Community Fund. It means that we will get a contribution towards our projects, here at the Centre. In particular, we’re hoping to open out our 100 acres of land to more people with disabilities, through disability rambling, better signage and so on.

But we need your help. The more support we get, the more funding we could receive. So if you’re a Co-op Member log in to your Co-op Membership account and choose us. If you’re not a member, please join and support us!

The shops to visit to make sure you benefit us are the Crow Lane and Hallen Road stores, round the corner from the Centre.  So while you’re doing your shopping, make sure you use your membership card!


Could you help with our Open Day?

Some of you may have seen that we are running an Open Day on Sunday 9th October.

It aims to be an inclusive day with tons for families to do. Could you help?


We need cakes! Could you bake a cake (or batch of fairy cakes, brownies etc) for us to sell on the refreshments stand? Please don’t make anything that needs refrigeration, and submit a list of ingredients – particularly well-known allergens eg nuts – with your cakes.

You can drop cakes off on Saturday 8th October or on the day.


Whatever your skills, we need you!

A bit strong? Come and put up gazebos or bunting, and lug tables and chairs around at the beginning or end of the event.

Silver trained volunteers? Help with pony rides!

Know a bit about the centre? Don’t mind talking to groups? Give stable tours!

We really want to make this a day for the whole Avon Riding Centre family. It would be great if you could give an hour or so of your life so we can have a lovely do!

To volunteer: email Louise Leigh  and she’ll pop you on the list!

Color Run Fun for Mother and Son!

10 year old George Britton and his mum, Stephanie, are taking on a mother and son challenge in aid of the Avon Riding Centre for the Disabled on Saturday 9th July.

They’ll be doing the Color Run 5k challenge together. It’s a 5k event where every kilometre, runners are showered with brightly coloured powder paint. “By the time you finish you look like a rainbow!” says Steph. “I did it last year and when I finished George insisted that he wanted to do it this time.”Stephanie

George has a diagnosis of autism, with ADHD and sensory processing disorder. This means that staying active can be really difficult for him. Other 10 year olds might kick a ball about with mates in the park; George needs structure, understanding and constant supervision.

Training with mum is a great way to let off steam in a safe way. George is home-schooled so in the morning, he studies. In the afternoon, they go out to “blow the cobwebs out of my energy” as he puts it.

Riding also gives him a great opportunity to stay active. “He’s like a different child in the saddle. All of his stress and anxiety just disappear. I knew that if we were going to do this event for charity, it would have to be for Avon Riding.”

George Britton on Bella with rosette

Proud as Punch – George shows off his Rosette at the RDA Regional Championships on Bella, with his helper,

“When you have children with Additional Needs, you are used to doors closing but with RDA you see pathways just open up,” said Steph. In fact, George recently competed in the RDA Regional Championships, riding Bella in both dressage and Countryside Challenge. “That’s a big deal for a child that’s developing typically but for George…watching him do dressage; my mum and I were both in tears.”

If you would like to sponsor George and Stephanie and donate to the Avon Riding Centre for the Disabled (Registered charity 281648) please go to the Avon Riding Centre page on JustGiving. ttps://


Volunteer Coaches Wanted

The amazing work we do here at Avon Riding Centre for the Disabled can only be done with the support of volunteers. At the moment, we have  a long waiting list of people who would like to ride with us.

What’s stopping them? Lack of RDA Coaches.

If you love horses and would like to train as an RDA coach, we can organise everything for you. Please click here for details.

RDA volunteer Poster 2016