RIDING lessons for disabled children and adults could be under threat if more volunteers are not recruited.

The Riding for the Disabled Association’s Unicorn Centre, at Hemlington, Middlesbrough, is holding a series of open days to attract new helpers.

The centre has seen a drop of volunteers on weekdays during term time which could severely impact on the number of day time lessons it provides.

Centre Manager Claire Pitt said, “We need at least 12 volunteers for each lesson, one to lead each of the six ponies and one to sidewalk with the rider. In some cases where riders have severe needs, we may need three volunteers per rider. That’s a lot of volunteer manpower.”

“Volunteers don’t need to be horsey, but of course, it can help. We can accept people from 14 years and older will provide the necessary training.”

She added: “Many of the riders attend from special schools and day centres, and riding at the Centre has become part of their weekly timetable.

Open days are being held on Wednesday, July 23 from 10am to noon, Thursday, July 24, from 5pm to 6.30pm, Wednesday, July 30, from 10am to noon, and Thursday, July 31, from 5pm to 6.30pm.

Potential volunteers are invited to attend one of the open days to find out more about the centre’s facilities, meet the staff, other volunteers and the ponies.

For further information contact Volunteer Co-ordinator Emily Richardson on 01642-576222, email volunteers@rdaunicorncentre.co.uk or visit the centre’s Facebook page.