This week, the Tauranga RDA are celebrating the hundreds of hours committed by our volunteers each week.
Tauranga Riding for the Disabled has a strong team of 120 volunteers who support riders each week.
The organisation offers equine therapy to anyone with disabilities and social challenges. The Tauranga RDA are growing, with increasing demands on its services with an ever- increasing waiting list.
The Equestrian Therapy Centre currently has 145 riders a week with 160 enrolled for term three. It is volunteer intensive, with some individuals requiring three volunteers to ride, they play a very important role.
Manager Elisha Olds says the volunteer team are the heart of the organisation. This week, volunteers will be given extra acknowledgement for dedicating their time to help others in our community.
Volunteers create great friendships within their team and with the riders they work with. It is a special place to volunteer time, says Elisha.
Some of the riders have made special thank you notes to their volunteers, showing how much difference they make to these riders.
Long-time sponsor for the week Recreational Services are rewarding volunteers with special gifts, morning tea and coffee.
The Tauranga RDA volunteer of the Year is Andrea Simmons, and Elisha says Andrea has been a volunteer for 5 years.
“She volunteers around her full time job. She is always first to put her hand up to help at any special events, and she leads the volunteer team on Saturday mornings.
“We are very lucky to have her on our team, thank you Andrea.”
Those interested in volunteering do not need previous experience as full training will be provided.
“We urge people to visit and see if Tauranga RDA is somewhere they feel they can invest their time.
“Those who commit will be involved in an organisation that is passionate and committed to the cause of offering equine therapy to better lives,” Elisha says.