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Disabled Riding School Set To Benefit From Local Lawyers’ Fundraising Initiative

Irwin Mitchell’s London Office Nominates Charity of the Year


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

A local riding school for children and adults with disabilities is set to benefit after lawyers and staff at the London office of Irwin Mitchell nominated it to be their Charity of the Year for 2018.

The national law firm’s initiative sees staff across each of its offices hold a range of events throughout the year to raise funds for local causes which have been selected through a vote.

The programme is part of the work of the Irwin Mitchell Charities Foundation, an independent charity which last year celebrated its 20th anniversary and has raised more than £1.5 million for charities in the UK and abroad.

Digswell Place Group, a member group of Riding for the Disabled Association UK and is a purpose built  voluntarily run riding stable which caters for people of all ages with disabilities. The group operates from stables in Hertfordshire with 14 horses and ponies.

The charity use riding as a holistic therapy for those with disabilities to improve strength, balance, control and muscle development as well as a tool to improve self-confidence, independence and responsibility.

Alison Eddy, is the Regional Managing Partner at Irwin Mitchell’s London office.

Expert Opinion
The Charity of the Year initiative has been a fundamental part of our efforts to actively support the local communities where we are based for many years and we are proud to have helped a number of incredible causes along the way.

“Digswell Place Group is a fantastic cause and we are already hard at work planning out the range of events which will be held across the year to raise vital funds to support the incredible work it does.”
Alison Eddy, Partner

Previous charities supported include children’s mentoring service, Friendship Works and food charity Fare Share but this year it is the turn of Digswell Place Group.

The charity have helped people like six-year-old Jonty, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and epilepsy which means that he struggles with gross and fine motor skills. Despite his condition Jonty began riding when he was just two; before he was able to sit independently. Although his physical disability makes many things difficult Jonty is an outgoing and active boy who loves sports. His mother Jessica says that riding is something which empowers Jonty, making him feel stronger and more confident.

Jessica said: “It is a really important community for children and families alike. Jonty adores his riding lessons - the relationship with the pony is important and he really cares for Freja, the horse he rides. It gives him a feeling of pride, ownership and responsibility when he rides her each week.

“This is one of few places where everybody focuses on what Jonty can do and not what he can’t. It is mentally demanding as well as being aerobic exercise; both of which are equally important.

“Jonty’s speech developed through his early lessons where following instructions and communicating were incorporated into games and competitions. It is lovely to watch all the children grow in confidence and capabilities from week to week. We feel very lucky to be a part of RDA Digswell.”

Amanda Morrall, Fundraising Manager at Digswell Place Group said: “We were absolutely thrilled to hear that we’ve been chosen to receive this support from Irwin Mitchell this year. We are a small charity and rely solely on help from volunteers to run the centre. Including the cost of feeding the ponies it costs over £50,000 a year to provide our services to members of the public.

“That doesn’t include vets bills to ensure the animals are in the best of health and upkeep to the facilities so the money raised by organisations like Irwin Mitchell allow us to keep our doors open so we can continue to change the lives of those who use the riding school.”