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Ordinary life opportunities – some clients need a helping hand

Ordinary Life Opportunities

At Laura Fergusson, our mission is to provide ordinary life opportunities, and while we can provide excellent care to our residents and clients, they still face barriers accessing their ordinary life opportunities, often due to restrictive transport costs. Where many people can get into a car and drive to an activity, Laura Fergusson resident Ron cannot drive and needs a mobility taxi service for transport. Ron has attended the New Zealand Riding for the Disabled Association for the past five weeks and would attend more if he could afford to. However, the 7km trip costs a minimum of $33, as long as the Christchurch traffic doesn’t slow them down. This means it can cost upwards of $70 for transport in one day.

“Wow!” said Ron with a grin as he finished his most recent session. Today was extra special for Ron as he was able to safely mount a horse for the first time. He was thrilled, “once I got straightened up it was great, it was fantastic.”

Simone, a trainer at the Riding for the Disabled Association said “it’s not just about the horses, it’s about the safe community that is built here. Being in the environment, talking with the volunteers and families, making and drinking tea together, you feel like you are in a safe space. It is the community that acts as therapy.”

It is a community that Ron loves being a part of, but cost of transport is a huge barrier. Ron applied for a grant to cover his transportation cost but only received a portion of what he needs. “I’ve only got funding for one school term, so I’m looking for more ways of funding.”

Ron is one of many residents who would love to continue attending their activities. These activities are great opportunities to build relationships with those who share similar challenges in a safe and supportive environment. We will follow his riding progress with keen interest!