Providing disabled people with the opportunity to carriage drive at our base at Greenmeadow Community Farm, Cwmbran
We are a registered charity (charity No.1074334) and a member of the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA-charity No. 244108) and are therefore bound by their standards of care and safety and inspected regularly.
Ceffyl Du Carriage Driving for the Disabled Group was formed in 1985. The group owns one pony, Tinker and two more ponies Lucy and Daisy are loaned to us. We own 3 specialised carriages which all have a ramp to make it easier to load a driver in a wheelchair. As the only driving group in the region our drivers come from far and wide and we welcome new members and volunteers.
Our aim is to provide disabled people with the opportunity to carriage drive to benefit their health, well being and quality of life.Carriage Driving is particularly useful for people who can no longer ride or prefer a different kind of challenge. It offers the following benefits:
- Improved co-ordination
- Improved muscle power
- Improved balance
- Relaxation through rhythmic movements
- Being out in the open air
- Decision making
- Making friends
- Self confidence
- Having fun
Drivers can take proficiency tests, compete or just participate. Our non-disabled drivers (known as RDA Whips), who give driving tuition are fully trained and have passed examinations by the British Driving Society (BDS), UKCC (coaching) as well as RDA. Our carriages can be used by ambulant drivers or those in wheelchairs and they are always accompanied by an RDA Whip who has a second set of reins (dual control!).
We have no paid employees but are run entirely by volunteers with an age range from 16 to 75, male and female! These volunteers are an essential part of the Group, not only for the Monday driving sessions but also fundraising, committee activities and the social life of the group. Without these volunteers the group couldn’t possibly function
We are always looking for more volunteers. Experience with horses is great but not essential mostly we are looking for reliable people with a big heart who are able to offer us time. There are many jobs to be done that don’t involve the horses, for example PR, fundraising etc. However, we also try to provide an opportunity to learn about the ponies and carriage driving if that is what a helper would like to do. In the past some of our helpers have had grants to help them learn to drive. We do have to comply with safeguarding legislation which means that helpers in certain roles have to have a Disclosure and Barring Check (DBS).
We meet to drive every Monday evening 5.30pm until dark at Greenmeadow Community Farm, Cwmbran, Torfaen, throughout the summer season (April to September). Greenmeadow has fields and tracks for us to drive on.
We also hold picnic drives in the woods at Usk Castle Chase, and we arrange specialist training, for example, from James Broome at the David Broome Event Centre, Cricklands.
Throughout the year we go on various trips, and have had 2 Carriage Driving Holidays, the first was at Escrick Park in York and in 2012 we took four of our Drivers to Clwyd Special Riding Centre, near Wrexham. In the winter we continue to meet regularly for training and social events.
Our committee and officers include representation from disabled drivers and volunteer helpers some of whom act as Group Trustees and who are responsible for the overall management of the group.
As a small local charity we need to raise our own funds. We receive wonderful support from our volunteers, drivers and the community but we are always looking for sponsorship and ideas for fundraising. If you can help in anyway please let us know.
If you want further information contact:
Group Organiser - Holly Williams
Tel: 07756 305177
Last Modified on: 23-02-2016