Drum Riding for the Disabled, Edinburgh (DRUM RDA) gives disabled people of all ages the opportunity to experience the therapeutic, educational and life-enriching benefits of horse riding. These include: enjoyment; increased fitness – including improved co-ordination, balance and muscle tone; improved social skills in support of social inclusiveness and greater independence; and a sense of achievement leading to increased confidence. We accommodate 152 riders every week and work primarily in partnership with special needs schools and training centres from across Edinburgh and the Lothians, although we also accept self-referrals.
With your help we will extend our pilot TurnAround initiative, which helps challenged young people battle exclusion from education and training. TurnAround combines the educational and therapeutic benefits of interaction with horses with those of charitable, disability-oriented voluntary work. The aim of the project is to help behaviourally challenged youngsters facing school exclusion to identify and overcome personal barriers and to either reintegrate into school life or to move towards alternative positive destinations.
Funding will allow us to extend the current pilot of TurnAround until November 2017 and will allow a further 18 at-risk youngsters to benefit from the specially designed and structured programme of supported volunteering. TurnAround nurtures critical life-skills such as confidence, trust, responsibility, self-discipline, resilience, empathy, respect, motivation and focus, while also offering valuable work experience and vocational skills training. The extension will also allow us further time to develop and embed the TurnAround service; to expand our network of referral partnerships and to secure the sustainability of this service.