Rosemary Riley, chair of the Calvert Stables committee, is keeping Reminder readers up-to-date with life at the Calvert Trust Riding Stables at Old Windebrowe on the outskirts of Keswick.
The stables offer people with disabilities horse experience activities such as natural horsemanship, stable management, understanding horse behaviour and working horses, as well as horse riding and carriage driving.
Calvert Stables say ‘big thank you’ to volunteers.
The Calvert Stables at Old Windebrowe are planning to reopen as soon as possible in line with the Government’s easing of the lockdown restrictions.
In the meantime, stables manager Henri Carew and her staff have kept in touch with the 70 dedicated volunteers who help out via the Facebook page ‘Calvert Stables’, a WhatsApp group, and regular video meetings via Zoom.
Lots of updates of the ponies and staff have been posted on the stables’ social media to keep everyone in the loop, with volunteers keeping staff up-to-date on their activities with pictures of walks in stunning locations, their own horses and pets, gardens and wildlife.
Henri said: ‘‘Whilst it has been great to keep in touch and thank our volunteers via social media, phone calls and emails, I think all our volunteers are missing the ponies, riders, staff and each other very much now and would dearly love to come back to see us all in person. I cannot wait until we can open again and welcome everyone back and say ‘Thank You’ in person to our fantastic team of volunteers.
“I am busy putting the necessary procedures in place to ensure we can re-open safely as soon as possible. The safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors is of the upmost importance to us. The ponies seem to be enjoying their extra-long summer holidays, but I think they will be happy to see everyone again soon.’’
During the recent Volunteers Week, a number of Calvert helpers recorded videos of themselves talking about their volunteering work, which can be viewed on Facebook – comments included:
- One from Grace, who says she especially loves seeing the joy and happiness the riding brings to the people who visit us
- While Sue said it has opened her eyes to other people’s differences and she feels she now can approach people better
- Silvia, who is 75 and has been volunteering at the stables for almost 30 years, loves working as a team and says it helps to keep her alert. She added that “volunteering is a joyful thing to do – come rain or shine.” On one of her stints just before lockdown she was leading a young boy on a pony when a helicopter flew over very low. Her rider said: “wow – it’s just like being in an action movie!”. He was thrilled and so was Silvia.
- Rozzie and Bethany, two of the younger volunteers, love to see riders developing their skill and confidence, to see how much happier they are and the smiles on their faces after even a short ride – it means so much to them.
Henri added: The Calvert Stables have been well supported locally with donations to the fundraising page and of hay and bedding which has been a massive help. However, we have been closed for almost three months now with ongoing costs to run the stables of over £4,000 each month (including bills, insurance, memberships, essential staff to look after the horses and the site). We are desperately in need of further funding to help us continue to offer our unique service for our visitors when they can return.