The ‘BEST Charity Pub Quiz’ hosted by the WESC Foundation at the School Hall at their Topsham Road site, attracted over 100 entrants from the local business community.Sponsored by Thomas Westcott, the event was part of a focused fundraising campaign to raise much needed funds for a new mechanical horse and riding sessions for disabled learners.
A number of professionals and organisations from Exeter competed to win the title of the ‘Top Team’ which was won by ‘Shaun’s Big Night Out’ from NHS Devon Partnership Trust.The real winners on the night, however, was the WESC Foundation with the raffle and auction raising just under 2,000 towards the charity’s target of 25,000.
Horse-riding has regularly been used as one of the therapies at WESC, as a valuable form of education and exercise, beneficial both to physical and mental wellbeing. These sessions take place on the campus or through sessions at a local Riding for the Disabled Centre in Exeter.
Jon Duckham, Fundraising Manager – WESC Foundation said: “The ‘Horse Simulator Appeal’ was launched by the WESC therapy team and so far we’ve raised just over 7,000 towards our target of 25,000.Horse-riding is a popular therapy at WESC, however, many of our children and young adults have disabilities that prevent them from being able to enjoy riding on a real horse.They would still hugely benefit, however, if they could take part in a safe and controlled environment. The Pub Quiz is a very popular annual fundraising event and this year it was a sell-out. We would like to say a massive thank you to our sponsors, Thomas Westcott, who have helped us to establish the quiz as literally the very best ever! We are also very grateful to the local organisations who supported us and for the generosity of local businesses who kindly donated prizes for the raffle and auction raising an amazing 2,000 on the night towards this very special appeal.”
Funds raised for the campaign, will allow all learners at WESC to have the opportunity to enjoy and benefit from riding a horse; either a mechanical simulator or a real pony. The horse simulator was originally designed for the rehabilitation of injured jockeys and the potential it gives for muscle strengthening, has meant it is a valuable therapeutic tool for disabled riders. This is due
to the highly controllable action of the simulator and support of a skilled therapist who can tailor each session to the specific needs of each young person – from muscle strengthening and posture to balance and increased body awareness.
Nicky Groucutt, Specialist Physiotherapy Assistant at WESC said: “There are significant physical benefits from therapeutic riding; the warmth and three dimensional movement of the horse is transmitted through the rider’s body gradually making it more relaxed and supple, strengthening core stability, reducing spasms and allowing improved balance, posture and coordination.
We use the movement of the horse or pony within a riding session to stimulate the desired response in each rider. The riding session content of stretches and exercises plus the horse’s own rhythms add to the whole experience.”
She adds: “Currently, the therapy team has a horse known as ‘Black Beauty’, which is more of an old rocking horse, although still very popular with the younger children at WESC. We are running this special appeal to raise much needed funds to buy a state-of-the-art computer horse simulator.This will add further value to the children’s development and confidence, in addition to ‘Black Beauty’ who brings them so much joy.The simulator can be programmed to individual learners to concentrate on developing particular areas in a recordable development of achievements and progress.”