Volunteers are the life-blood of Lowlands Farm and together with the ponies, make a great team which is fun to be part of. Everyone at Lowlands Farm RDA (except the resident coach*) volunteers their time and expertise - the trustees, the stable hands, fundraisers, office workers and the side-walkers who make riding safe for our clients.
(*The resident coach is salaried to ensure we have a dedicated and consistent standard of delivery and quality of commitment. If you are going to join us, then it’s important for you to know that every penny goes to delivering the service.)
Volunteering can take any shape that you want – just to muck around with horses, to care for them, groom them, and yes, clean up after them! It can also include making coffee for parents and visitors, helping with fundraising and doing odd jobs or maintenance around the stables. (Volunteering is a great pathway to fulfilling the Service Section of your Duke of Edinburgh Award.)
Or you might want to train as a lead rein or side-walker, helping make the riders feel confident and safe. We use the Green Card system which is used throughout RDA and records your progress and staged accomplishments.
Of course, as you might expect, we would need to run a DBS check – that’s a normal process nowadays if you work with children in order to protect our sometimes very vulnerable clients.
Working closely with our clients needs special attributes: you need to be patient, friendly and reliable. Our clients depend on you being there when you said you would, otherwise their session may have to be cancelled. You need to be confident around horses, and to have an understanding of how to behave around them.
But most of all, you need to really want to join in and become a valuable part of a friendly team who try to do everything they can to help our clients.
If you do, the reward is being around horses, together with the knowledge that you are playing a vital part in helping disabled people experience richer and more fulfilling lives.
To join, or tell us about your interest call us on 01926 843 403. Don’t be surprised if we don’t answer immediately – we’re probably with a client or tending to the horses.
To comply with regulations when working with children and vulnerable adults all volunteers must complete a DBS (formerly CRB) check.