You can help Riding for the Disabled (NSW) Ballina and District win $37,000 with the push of a button in the ‘My Community Project’ scheme from Service NSW.
My Community Project annually funds projects in each NSW electorate to help improve the wellbeing of the people and communities that live there.
RDA spokesperson Anna Rimac says they are in with a chance to win. ‘It would be a huge boost for our centre,’ says Ms Rimac. ‘All you have to do is vote online or at your nearest NSW Service Centre.’
In 2013 the local branch of Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) felt like they won the lottery when farmer Brian McNamara bequeathed his beautiful home Glen Burnie, a 40 hectare cattle property in Teven, to the RDA so they could continue providing their services to the disabled community.
Overwhelmed with gratitude and daunted by the challenge at hand, RDA volunteers banded together and have transformed the farm into an equine facility of quality.
Ms Rimac says they provide lessons for about 30 riders each week during school terms, and have a long waiting list. ‘Our focus for the last six years has been to build adequate and safe infrastructure, and increase volunteer participation so that we can help more riders,’ she said. ‘We also run an equine assisted learning program for a local high school, and work with disadvantaged youth.
‘Volunteers provide therapies to improve health conditions from cerebral palsy, autism, depression, anxiety, PTSD and many other disabilities.’
Ms Rimac says that Ballina and District Branch has been operating since 1979. ‘This year marks our 40th birthday. We moved from North Teven six years ago. We’ve built a change room, shed, toilets, undercover arena, round yard, improved fencing, installed water tanks, a carpark and maintain a herd of 10 horses.’
Ms Rimac says lessons operate three days a week. ‘We have riding Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings thanks to a team of about 60 weekly volunteers and another 40 who pop in from time to time.’
For the next month the RDA are hoping supporters can help them win a grant from the ‘My Community Project’ scheme at Service NSW to improve their facilities.
‘Funding will be used for improved safety fencing, providing better access to the centre for people living with disabilities, as well as implementing regenerative pasture management, enhancing biodiversity and protecting the environment.’ Voting is only open for one month.
Vote at https://mycommunityproject.service.nsw.gov.au/.