Charity to open £1million riding therapy centre

Carrot and Stick - Manager Tina Symington with April O'Neill and Susie D at the Stables   INNT 21-402-RM
Carrot and Stick - Manager Tina Symington with April O'Neill and Susie D at the Stables INNT 21-402-RM
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A LEADING UK charity which provides donkey riding therapy for children with special needs is set to open a new £1 million centre in Newtownabbey.

The Elisabeth Svendsen Trust (EST) Belfast Centre, based at Ballymartin Road, near Ballyrobert, will be the charity’s first facility anywhere in Ireland.

Volunteer James Graham hard at work on the scaffolding   INNT 21-405-RM

Volunteer James Graham hard at work on the scaffolding INNT 21-405-RM

The impressive new centre, which is due to be officially opened on June 23, is designed to bring enjoyment and pleasure in to the lives of children with special needs, and to give them the satisfaction that comes with the achievement of learning riding skills.

With just a month to go until the opening, staff and volunteers are busy making sure the facility is ready to welcome the more than 150 children from special schools across Northern Ireland who will visit the centre for riding therapy sessions each week.

Children will be given the opportunity to meet the donkeys, groom them and even go for a ride. And on the third Saturday of each month, or Wednesday evenings, they can attend with their families and carers.

Read the full story in this week’s TIMES...

Manager Tina Symington outside the purpose built facilities on the Ballymartin Road   INNT 21-408-RM

Manager Tina Symington outside the purpose built facilities on the Ballymartin Road INNT 21-408-RM