Many smiling faces were to be seen on Friday, May 19 at the Pinetrees Riding Centre in Almancil. The Portuguese Association for Cerebral Palsy Sufferers (APPC) in Faro held its finale for the scholastic year of their therapeutic riding and hippotherapy programme.
This was an opportunity for sponsors to meet the APPC clients they have helped benefit, talk to the therapists, volunteers and have the opportunity for feedback from the parents.
A parent explained the benefits for her son to one of the sponsors, Richard Brice, of the Helping Hands group from São Brás. When her six-year-old child with Cerebral Palsy started receiving the therapy using the horse, he had little trunk and head control and thus was uncoordinated. He was unable to use his right hand, and his focus and concentration were poor. The mum is now happy to see that all these aspects have improved, and her son loves coming on Fridays to see his pony.
Rosettes were presented to the APPC clients kindly donated by Susi and Martin Goodkind, of Algarve Plus Magazine.
APPC pupils presented handicrafts to the wonderful team of voluntary helpers who help make the sessions happen, and everyone enjoyed juice, coffee and cakes in the warm Algarve sun.
Even the horses lined up for a carrot and a round of applause, with Beverley Gibbons, owner and trainer, giving an introduction to Alinta, Boneco, Pushkin, Frodo, Blossom and Charlie.
It has to be mentioned that Isabel Ponte, the occupational therapist from APPC, was awarded the ShebangPR International Women’s Day Award in March for her dedicated work.
A big thank you must be given to the sponsors of the project: Quinta Properties, Management Works, Grasshopper Greens, Bialek family and Helping Hands.
The new term will start in October, and in September there will be a meet-up for those who would like to volunteer for the project. If you would like to know more, email [email protected]