Become a Volunteer at the Arrow
If you are interested in volunteering with the friendly and hardworking team at the Arrow, we would greatly appreciate your time. Many of our lessons require up to three volunteers per rider, so the more volunteers we have, the more riders we can help.
It's not essential to have any previous experience with horses as our qualified instructors are always on hand to show you the ropes. Some volunteers come for just an hour or two each week, and others are able to offer us several days of their time - any commitment you can make will be greatly appreciated.
So get in touch - we would love to hear from you!
"My name is Peter Connell, and I am a brain injury survivor. This has left me with some communication and fatigue problems. I became involved with the Arrow through my wife Daryl. She started helping out at RDA after being a Games Maker at the Paralympic Equestrian events in Greenwich Park and wanted to stay involved with horses, soon getting me involved as well!
As a volunteer I get to work in partnership with the most amazing pony (Sam!) to help some of the most wonderful, but severely challenged children you could hope to meet. Most have cerebral palsy and find it hard to control their movements, lacking the core strength to keep themselves upright unaided.
I only help for a few hours on Thursday afternoons, leading Sam and rider (plus two side walkers), ether around the indoor school or through the beautiful woodlands around Arrow. Even though each rider only gets 15-20 minutes a week it makes the most miraculous difference to the children’s lives that is a joy to see.
Not only does riding get the child out from their chair and give them a sense of freedom that they couldn’t get any other way but it also improves their balance and strength. They are performing physio without releasing there are doing it. I have known children who couldn’t walk before starting riding, who after only a few terms riding were running across the car park back to the bus.
It doesn't sound like very much, just walking with a horse for a few hours a week, but these are the some of the most rewarding hours I have ever had. Why don’t you join us?"
Are you a volunteer at the Arrow with a story to tell? We'd love to hear from you about your volunteering experience. Send us a message!
What Our Volunteers Say...
Peter & Sam
"I was introduced to the Arrow whilst working for Barclays Bank. Each year members of staff were encouraged to take part in the community days, so about ten years ago, I visited the Arrow for a day with a few other members of staff to see how we could help out.
As a result of that day, when I retired a couple of years later, I popped in to Arrow and asked if I could help with any odd jobs. Eight years later, I'm still here, doing a couple of mornings each week on a regular basis and other times as required. It helps me use my spare time for exercise and fresh air.
So what do I get up to? I have learnt to drive a tractor and another 4x4 off road and use and maintain a petrol strimmer. I also carry out repairs to the stable blocks and fences, maintain the wheelbarrows, unload hay deliveries and all sorts of odd jobs around the Centre."