Voters in our online poll have chosen Henstridge RDA to benefit from a £600 funding boost. The 9th Making a Difference Locally vote saw the disabled riding charity beat the two other contenders, The St Mary's Templecombe Bell Restoration Project and Age Concern North Dorset to scoop the top prize.
The charity aims to enable people of all ages and disabilities to ride. The benefits are huge, physically and mentally, especially for people who spend most of their lives your life in a wheelchair. Riders come from all over Dorset, some from Somerset to Pevlings Riding Stables, South Cheriton, riding real ponies on Wednesdays, mechanical horses on Mondays.
Mechanical horses are a gentle introduction to riding for those who have never been on horseback, or who are recovering from injury. This form of exercise can be beneficial for all sorts of problems including strokes, MS and cerebral palsy, as well as for people who have had hip replacements.
The Bell Project was runner up and will be given £300 from the fund, which is built up through customers choosing specially-marked products in-store. The suppliers then donate a few pence to the fund for every product purchased – and it soon adds up. Age Concern will not go away empty handed though – it will receive £100.
Since the fund launched in 2008, Dike & Son has been able to support dozens of local good causes, including Julia's House Children's Hospice, learning projects, local animal charities, schools, sports teams and local community groups.