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Community Chest funds equipment for riding therapy

Archived press release

Date Published: 03/03/08

Horse sense has been shown by the Aylesbury Vale Community Chest fund, which has come riding to the rescue of a group offering equine-assisted therapy.

The Horses Helping People organisation has received £1,000 in the latest round of grants for voluntary and community groups to pay for a child’s saddle and other riding equipment including 100 hats and 80 pairs of boots.

The group is aiming to provide a riding therapy programme for children and adults with special needs and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. The project will be based at a stable yard near Aston Clinton and will include facilities for riding, learning and respite care.

Participants will have the chance to enjoy the benefits of riding – which include improved balance, co-ordination and confidence – as well as the everyday activities involved in the care of horses, such as grooming and feeding. The centre, which is set to open this spring, will also offer Western riding lessons and training clinics for the general public.

Fundraiser Debbie La-Haye said the grant will enable the organisation to offer riding therapy to people who might not otherwise be able to afford horse-related activities. “This funding is a great help to us in starting up,” she said. “It means that people who might not otherwise be able to access equine activities can come to us.”

Other groups who were successful in their applications this time around were:
• Ashendon Parish Council – given a grant of £1,000 to clear a piece of land in the centre of the

village that has become overgrown and unkempt
• Worminghall Village Hall – awarded £975 to repair the hall’s leaking roof and replace rotten doors and door frames on the outside storage rooms
• Bacombe Allotment Society – received £940 to purchase guttering, pipework and three large water tanks to enable the group to harvest and store rainwater on a new allotment site
• Mediation Buckinghamshire – given a grant of £266 to buy a new shredder

The Community Chest fund, which is run jointly by Aylesbury Vale District Council and the Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust, provides funding to assist projects that will benefit the community and improve the quality of life for residents in the district.

Community and voluntary groups can apply for a micro-grant of up to £1,000, which can be applied for at any time, or a project grant of up to £25,000, which is reviewed on a quarterly basis. To be eligible to apply, groups must be formally constituted, not-for-profit and operate within Aylesbury Vale, for the benefit of local residents or visitors to the area.

Councillor Pam Pearce, Cabinet Member for Community Matters at AVDC, said: “We always enjoy being able to help out community and voluntary groups who need financial help to make their projects come to fruition. With these grants, we are helping these organisations to continue making a valuable contribution to the community to the benefit of many local people.”

Matthew Applegate, Chief Executive of VAHT, said: “This month’s awards are again a wonderful reflection of how micro grants can make a difference to such a wide range of activities in the Vale. From roof repairs to riding therapy, to water harvesting and recycling, the grants are helping all our communities to enjoy the benefits of living here.”

For more information about Community Chest grants, call AVDC on 01296 585634 or email

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 For interviews, please contact:
• Councillor Pam Pearce, Cabinet Member for Community Matters, 01525 279567
• Matthew Applegate, Chief Executive of VAHT, 01296 780073

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