Hope in the Valley RDA Group is close to completing its “Road to Restart” journey.
The trustees have had to be mindful of the needs of everyone who enables the group to function-the volunteers, Plumpton College who provide their facilities, the riders and their parents and carers.
Trustee Miranda Dart said “I am sure our group is not unique in the make-up of it’s incredible volunteers and participants but we feel a massive responsibility towards everyone to ensure that we are all going to be as safe as we possibly can be when we do recommence riding sessions.”
The ponies have now been reintroduced to the venue and took everything in their stride including volunteers in facemasks and the aroma of sanitiser in the air along with a low flying helicopter! All the ponies have been in work over the lockdowns so they are ready to recommence as soon as required.
In the next few weeks the volunteers will undertake refresher training and will be briefed on the new hygiene protocols.
The next stage will be to see the young riders individually and to make sure boots, hats and stirrups are all fitting safely and that they haven’t grown too tall over the past 18 months for the ponies we have available for the planned September re-start.
The trustees of Hope in the Valley are hugely grateful for the financial help received, especially since the start of the pandemic. This has been through the efforts of volunteers such as Sconaid Wastie who raised funds for the group by walking 100km non-stop from London to Brighton and from the charitable trusts which have continued to be incredibly supportive throughout.