Princes Trust volunteers take on fence-painting challenge
at The Pegasus Centre
The Pegasus Centre, Morpeth is managed by Active Northumberland and is home to Morpeth Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA). The centre provides riding opportunities for over 250 disabled people per year.
Riding is recognised as providing wonderful therapeutic benefits to people with disabilities. The RDA is recognised as the leading body for delivering riding activities for disabled people internationally.
Morpeth Group RDA benefits from the Pegasus Centre’s state-of-the-art facilities including indoor and outdoor arenas with dust free surfaces and galleried viewing. The Indoor arena has a special mounting area and a hoist for riders with mobility disabilities.
Pegasus Centre Instructors have specialist RDA qualifications in addition to being British Horse Society approved instructors. All staff and volunteers who assist with lessons for riders with disabilities receive training in how to understand and help people with disabilities to get the most out of their time in lessons.
Whilst the centre has a dedicated small team of paid staff it could not operate without a team of passionate volunteers that turn up week in, week out to provide their support in making the centre work. Volunteers have a number of roles from instructing, leading horses, yard duties and maintenance.
The riding school struggles the most with finding volunteers with the skills to help keep the centre looking its best. With over 5000 rides per year and the nature of what they do there is always maintenance work to be carried out. The Pegasus Centre were very pleased to hear from Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service and their team of staff who manage the Prince’s Trust Team Programme.
The Prince’s Trust work with 16 to 25 year-olds who are unemployed or out of further education. It all began in 1976, when HRH The Prince of Wales had a bold idea. Having completed his duty in the Royal Navy, His Royal Highness became dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged young people in the UK. He founded His Trust to deliver on that commitment. To date, The Trust has reached more than 825,000 young people with three in four achieving a positive outcome – moving into education, employment or training.
The Pegasus Centre has been lucky enough to have 10 young adults from the Prince’s Trust Team Programme volunteer at the centre for two days on a maintenance project. Team members are responsible for identifying projects and leading on them which builds their skills and confidence. The volunteers visited the centre to see how they could help and decided that they would paint the outdoor arena fencing which would be a challenge due to its size in 2 days.
Leanne Beattie, Centre Manager said:
“It has been fantastic to host the Prince’s Trust volunteers at the Pegasus Centre for two days. The team of volunteers have done a great job in painting the arena fence and I was really impressed with how professional they were. I look forward to welcoming the Prince’s Trust back to the centre in November and continuing to build the relationship we have”
Northumberland Fire and Rescue said:
“Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service are proud of their link with the Pegasus Centre and are fully aware of the important work they do empowering centre users through the sessions they deliver. After visiting the site all team members agreed that helping to improve the facilities would be a rewarding and worthwhile project. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Pegasus Centre in the future.
Andrew Tunnah, Northumberland Sport said:
‘Volunteers play a huge role in making sport happen, around 90% of the sports workforce are volunteers. To bring two fantastic initiatives together (The Pegasus Centre and The Prince’s Trust) has resulted in some much needed maintenance to the outdoor arena which in turn will provide a quality facility to be used by the centres riders for years to come”
Young People (Prince’s Trust Team Programme) “Working with staff from the Pegasus Centre has helped us to develop new skills and a greater understanding of the diversity of people and their individual needs within our community. We found the experience to be uplifting (although messy, at times) and very rewarding, we are very proud to have left a legacy for the centre users to enjoy in the future. We have enjoyed being part of a hardworking, kind and respectful team”.
Rebecca Welford, one of the Prince’s Trust Team members, also had a keen interest in all things equestrian so the centre were happy to offer her a further 2 weeks work experience.