Chalkdown Riding for the Disabled Group (near Staplehurst in Kent, were shocked earlier in the summer when scurrilous thieves went to great lengths to steal their brand new, distinctive red trailer in the middle of the night.
A social media and online campaign was launched to try and retrieve it. But they have found a white knight in the form of John Page Trailers from Biddenden in Kent which has charged to the Group’s rescue with an equally fabulous replacement.
The Group spent nearly two years raising the necessary funds, with a top up from the People’s Postcode Lottery, to buy the £5,000 trailer so that they could transport the ponies to and from their RDA sessions and the children and adult participants could enjoy their much-needed riding therapy.
The thieves pushed the trailer half a mile through paddocks before breaking through a hedge to escape with their ill-gotten prize. Pauline Roestenburg, the Group’s Chairman said “We were appalled that people would do this, especially to a charity. They must have known as it was written on the side”.
The Group’s online campaign to retrieve their beloved trailer was spotted by William and Michala Page of John Page Trailers in Biddenden, Kent who charged to the rescue.
Under the subterfuge of inviting them to view a second-hand trailer that they could buy cheaply, William lured Pauline and fellow volunteer, Kay to a viewing before surprising them with the donation of a sparkling, red, branded trailer that he had be-decked in ribbons and bows.
“We were very emotional and quite speechless at the Page’s generosity” said Pauline.
About Riding for the Disabled (RDA) in the South East:
In the South East there are 35 groups across Surrey, Sussex and Kent with over 2,000 riders of all ages. They come to enjoy the experience of riding, carriage driving, show jumping, dressage endurance and western style, with opportunities to learn a new skill, enter competitions or even take a holiday.
This can bring a new dimension to necessarily restricted lives, encourage independence and does much to improve a wide range of medical conditions.
It has the commitment of more than 1,000 volunteers who regularly and cheerfully give up their free time. Instructors work closely with physiotherapists and other health professionals to encourage every individual to aim for attainable goals – some modest, others far more ambitious.