Celebrating five years of horses in Brixton
On Wednesday, 26 October 2016 Ebony Horse Club marked it's community riding centre's 5th anniversary.
This is an incredible milestone for the charity that is also turning 21 at the start of next year.
It all started back in 1996 when a small group of children from the Moorlands estate went for their very first riding lesson. For 15 years members were taken back and forth to riding centres across London until dreams were realised when nine horses and ponies arrived in Brixton and the new community riding centre was officially opened by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall in 2011.
Since the opening of the riding centre approximately 1,100 children have learnt to ride, many from 14 local schools - from nearby Loughborough and St John’s Angell Town primary schools to Michael Tippett whose pupils with profound learning needs have astounded their teachers and riding instructors with their independent riding skills.
To mark the five years as a community riding centre, Ebony Horse Club has asked five of its long-term members to talk about the impact that learning to ride has had on their lives. The young people represent the various stages in which members develop as they progress through the Club, from their time at school to when they go on to further or higher education and start to take their first steps on the career ladder.
Letty Porter, who has been involved with the Club’s development from 2008, when the riding centre was in the planning stages, to witnessing its impact today explains: “Our riding centre has allowed us to support young riders on their individual journeys. The club’s ethos has always been a lot more than just learning to ride. We get to know our members over several years.
"There’s definitely a bond of trust that emerges and when young people have disclosed issues that they are facing our youth workers are there to offer support. We really want every young person to fulfil their potential, but sometimes the odds can be stacked against them. Ebony shows that there is another way and can really help to open young eyes to endless possibilities.”
As a charity, we rely on generous grants from charitable trusts, fundraising support and donations from individuals to ensure we can provide much-needed services and support to children and young people in the local community.