Vodafone volunteers restore Ravenswood Stables for riders with disabilities

21 September 2018

A team of 11 Vodafone volunteers carried out much-needed improvements to the Riding for the Disabled Stables at Ravenswood, Norwood’s collection of homes set in over 120 acres of Berkshire countryside.

The team restored the riding school area and general state of appearance of the stables, including digging out the mounting area, which will help ease the transition for wheelchair users when mounting their horse.

Despite the strong sun at points in the day, the team showed no signs of slowing down, fuelled by a wonderful lunch prepared by Ravenswood’s own café team and home-baked treats from the Vodafone team leader.

Throughout the day there were visits from Ravenswood residents, who watched with great interest as the team worked away and even stopped for the occasional chat with the volunteers.

By the end of the day the riding school area looked completely new, tidier, welcoming and, most importantly, accessible for the residents.

The Stables provide a chance for residents of Norwood’s Ravenswood to experience horse care, riding, stable management, equine therapy as well as carriage driving for those not able to ride. There is a chance for people to learn individually or in groups. Not only is it a great opportunity to spend time with animals, it also helps improve balance, co-ordination and confidence.

Stephen Ferguson, Operations Manager at Vodafone, said: “Everyone enjoyed the day. It was an overwhelming success. The feedback I had was that Ravenswood is an amazing place and deserves far more credit for the work it does than it gets. Everyone was impressed by the size of the site, the amount of people you support, the facilities (having stables and horses was a real “wow” factor), the lunch we had, and your enthusiasm.

“One of the residents came down to the stables and was talking to team members, which really brought home who it is we were working for. All that attended have expressed an interest in returning to do further work.”

Simon Wooders, The Stables team member, said: “The volunteers worked with enthusiasm, and really cracked on with the jobs. They were a great bunch and it was an absolute joy to have them. Many, many thanks to each and every one of them.”

Julia Hall, Head of Adult Services at Ravenswood said: Volunteers and the work undertaken by the teams are a vital and valued part of Ravenswood”.

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Further information

For further information please contact Norwood press team:

By email: pressoffice@norwood.org.uk

By phone: 07928 525 100

About Norwood

Norwood is the largest Jewish charity in the UK supporting vulnerable children and their families, children with special educational needs and people with learning disabilities and autism.

Founded in 1795, Norwood is one of the UK’s oldest charities and the only Jewish charity to enjoy the Patronage of Her Majesty The Queen.

It helps children and adults to maximise their potential at home, at school and throughout their lives, through personalised services designed to enable choice.

Each year Norwood needs £35m to keep its services running, £12m of which comes through voluntary donations. These services include over 55 sites across London and the South East.

Norwood currently runs eight charity shops across North and East London thanks to the support of 150 dedicated volunteers.

Norwood Volunteering

Norwood relies on around 1500 volunteers who give their time regularly to support our work. Hundreds more support our events and fundraising activities.

People choose to volunteer for Norwood for so many reasons, but they all have one thing in common: an understanding of how important it is to support our work in their communities.

There are many ways that you can help support Norwood’s work too. Whatever your skills or interests, we are bound to have something you will enjoy doing.

To apply to be a volunteer, then please call our Volunteering team on 020 8420 6926 or email volunteering@norwood.org.uk.