Kerri Correia – Riding for the Disabled
‘I discovered Riding for the Disabled when my own child used them while at Bel Royal School, so you could say that I have experience of how it all works from both sides.
‘I became involved escorting the children on trips to the UK and now, a typical Friday for me mixes side-walking with the children on their ponies, helping them to sort out their kit, and assisting and understanding their needs through Maceton (a form of sign language that I learned whilst bringing up my own child with special needs).
‘Working as part of a team I take great pleasure in seeing and knowing that the children are really enjoying it. Aiming toward goals, the children benefit more than they realise. But sometimes they definitely know they are in a good place – one child who lived with many different needs and lacked in self-assurance, spent 15 minutes riding then commented “I love my life, I do!” – it was a very memorable moment.
‘I have surprised myself at how much I enjoy volunteering. Many people believe they don’t have anything to give or can’t fit it in to their lifestyles, but they are wrong – there is something to suit everyone. Find something you are interested in and you will enjoy it and get the most out of the experience. No matter how small your effort – it will be appreciated.’