Acorns and Squirrels of Exeter

13 December 2018

WESC Foundation has been taking students to the Acorn and Squirrels of Exeter Riding for the Disabled Group for the past 20 years or more. The service is run by volunteers who turn up at the stables every week throughout the year in all weathers. They get to know each student well and are always supportive to their needs.

At the WESC Foundation Achievement Awards ceremony in the summer these volunteers were presented with the Partner of Year Award for their hard work and dedication to the young people helping them benefit from these riding sessions.

Every year the volunteers hold an award ceremony where each student receives a rosette for the challenges they have overcome and the confidence they have gained. They also award their yearly trophy for Most Improved Rider of the Year and this year it went to Pearl who has overcome her difficulties in transitioning to and from the stables along with using her voice and participating in all the activities. A huge tribute to her.

A new special award was added to the ceremony this year, the Hannah Batterbee Trophy for Endeavour.  The RDA volunteers bought the trophy in memory of Hannah and invited her parents to present it.  Hannah attended WESC Foundation for thirteen years and loved her riding sessions at the RDA.

This special award went to Anna who, when she started riding was very quiet and unsure, wouldn’t initiate conversation and really didn’t have much confidence. She now rides independently, has improved her balance, and head posture along with giving clearer vocalisation. She’s come a really long way and wholeheartedly deserves this award.

A huge thank you to all of those involved with this wonderful activity, it brings a lot of joy and satisfaction to everyone.

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