Wheelchair-friendly buggy has arrived

Deb Roylance, Veva MacCullagh, Patrick and Emily Ryan, Mary Hodges and Kylie Ryan with the new wheelchair-friendly buggy.

Deb Roylance, Veva MacCullagh, Patrick and Emily Ryan, Mary Hodges and Kylie Ryan with the new wheelchair-friendly buggy.

After a huge community fundraising effort and global search for the right equipment, Riding for the Disabled Forbes has taken delivery of a wheelchair-accessible buggy.

Seeing the benefits for people with disabilities learning to ride and work with horses through the RDA program, the local RDA group wanted to extend that opportunity to people in wheelchairs. 

Many Forbes locals supported raffles and local organisations donated to raise the funds – and the committee would like to say a huge thanks and share the good news with everyone who made it possible.

The committee is thrilled with the delivery, beautiful enough to be used for special events and functions, with both a wheelchair ramp at the back and the ability to remove the front seat so someone in a wheelchair can take the reins. 

It has been a long time coming, because it has taken time to find a buggy that would meet the requirements.

But with the arrival of new committee member John Zannes, the right piece of equipment was found in Europe.

The buggy had to be ordered and built to specification, then sent to Australia when there was a container of goods to send it with.

Committee members were thrilled to unwrap it last week, and look forward to showing it to the community on Australia Day.

They will be available to talk about what RDA offers, and encouraging more people to come on board.

Currently, weekly RDA sessions for local primary school students are held at Sahara Park Riding School in Autumn and Spring. 

Forbes RDA is seeking more volunteers to help on riding days, they’re also hoping to find some locals who would like to train to be RDA coaches or drivers for the new buggy.

Volunteers should enjoy working with horses and children, and need to complete a working with children check.

The cost of training, which is on in Orange in March, will be covered by the Forbes RDA. 

With more coaches and volunteers on board, the RDA would also like to hear from more parents of children with disabilities who would like riding lessons.

Anyone who would like to learn more can contact forbes@rdansw.org.au or phone secretary Kylie Ryan on 0459 960 376.

You can also speak to the committee members on Australia Day – down by Lake Forbes during the evening celebrations.

They’ll be launching a new fundraising venture, to purchase a trailer to transport the buggy so they can share it with nearby communities too.