SSC - Summer Sunday Café, 7th August 2016

10 Aug 2016
By Mary McGill
The skies were grey and drops of rain fell from the sky on the morning of our fourth Sunday Café. However, true to form, the skies cleared, the sun came out and, with a strong breeze to keep us cool, we got off to a flying start.
The Reading Room was, as always, looking very pretty with bunting festooning the walls and wild flowers on the tables inside and in the pretty garden at the back.  The book and plant stalls also proved as popular as ever.
We were busy pouring tea, coffee and fruit juices and serving up a wonderful array of delicious cakes and scones to villagers and passers by until shortly before we closed at 5pm
The charity chosen for this month’s Café was The Wilton Group of the Riding for the Disabled Association based at The Pembroke Centre, Home Farm Lane.  Jo Pay (pictured) and Rosie Genovese, both volunteers, came to tell us about the Group and its work with those of all ages suffering from many kinds of physical and learning difficulties, including autism.  
Jo has been a volunteer for 7 years and is also a Trustee with responsibility for Health and Safety.  As well as recounting some moving and inspiring stories of those the Association has helped, Jo told us The Centre costs £80,000 a year to run which is why money raising events such as our Café are so vitally important. Legacies and donations also help to raise funds for the activities of the Centre, such as Riding, Dressage, Carriage Driving, Vaulting (like gymnastics on on a horse) and Show Jumping.
All of these activities help build confidence and work wonders on muscle strength, balance, co-ordination and general fitness.  The riders are encouraged to work towards physical and educational goals within their abilities. The other side of the coin is that, as well as helping people both physically and mentally, it is also great fun and gives a tremendous sense of achievement and builds self-esteem.  Indoors or outdoors their happy ponies and horses come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and are selected for their calm temperament and patience.  Along with the horses the other vital element is the team of 150 dedicated volunteers who run and maintain the Centre and continue its valuable work with those who need their help.  It is a case of:
          “What you can do, not what you can’t do”
The wonderful amount raised for the RDA on Sunday afternoon was £345.26, so a very big thank you to everyone who helped make the afternoon such a success.
Please come along to our last Sunday Café of the year on 4th September at 2.30pm when the charity will be Salisbury and District Talking Newspaper.
Mary McGill