Children with disabilities will receive horse therapy thanks to Durham Freemasons

pictured above:

John David Watts – APGM & Chairman of Durham Benevolence, Paul Quinn – Durham Charity Steward & MCF Representative, Amanda Tweedy – Deputy Chief Executive at Heel & Toe Children’s Charity, Jo Parsons – Clinical Lead Physiotherapist at Heel & Toe Children’s Charity, 5 year old Florence with Mum Emily and Sparky the Pony.

More than 100 children with disabilities in the North East of England will receive specialised therapy in the form of Hippotherapy at Heel & Toe Children’s Charity, thanks to a major grant from Durham Freemasons.

The £60,231 grant will support Heel & Toe Children’s Charity’s new therapy known as Hippotherapy which is a technique that uses the movement of a horse to treat a variety of conditions, in this case children with disabilities and complex needs. Hippotherapy uses the horses’ regular rhythm of walking to improve children’s balance, strength, joint range, righting reactions, tone, flexibility and sensory processing which are essential in the development of motor skills.

The funding will make a significant difference in the lives of children and their families by providing this unique therapy. Heel & Toe are working in partnership with Washington Riding School to help local children with disabilities and complex needs in the North East and surrounding areas.

This project will allow children to access a 45 minute session of Hippotherapy per week. Children with a wide range of challenges and diagnoses can benefit from hippotherapy,

Including; Cerebral Palsy, developmental delay, genetic conditions, downs syndrome, coordination disorders, neuromuscular conditions amongst others.

The grant from Durham Freemasons to Heel and Toe comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.

Heel & Toe Children’s Charity Deputy Chief Executive, Amanda Tweedy said:

“We’re very grateful to Durham Freemasons for their generous grant. Last year we ran a very successful pilot Hippotherapy scheme which showed that parents found a significant improvement in their child’s development thanks the Hippotherapy service. Our clinical lead is one of the few professional therapists specially trained and experienced in delivering Hippotherapy to children in the UK. We are so pleased to be able to continue thanks to the Freemasons grant”.

John David Watts from Durham Freemasons, said:

“I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help Heel and Toe with their hugely important horse therapy sessions for local children with disabilities. Getting treatment while you’re very young can make a huge difference to a child and lead to major improvements. Heel and Toe are doing vital work for kids from across the region.”

For more information on Heel & Toe Children’s Charity services CLICK HERE.