Welcome to the Alkham Valley Community Project

Aims and Objectives

  • The Alkham Valley Community Project is a registered charity which provides horse riding and equestrian activities to promote the health and wellbeing of those taking part.
  • We aim to make equestrian sport and activity affordable and accessible to the local community, particularly those who might otherwise be unable to access the benefits of riding and spending time with horses.

Affordable, Accessible and Achievable

As an RDA Member Group, we provide specialist sessions for riders with physical or intellectual disability at a subsidised rate. These sessions are facilitated by trained and experienced RDA coaches and our clients include riders with cerebral palsy, scoliosis, autism, global developmental delays and many other diagnoses.

We also work with a number of local specialist schools to provide sessions for their students, focussing on not only the physical benefits of exercise and time spent outdoors in the countryside, but also the emotional regulation and calming effect of time spent around horses and ponies. Many of these schools have been attending for five years or longer as they recognise the huge impact the sessions have on their students.

We recognise that we are situated close to some of the most deprived wards in the country and that riding may be financially out of reach for many families. We therefore work in partnership with the national Holiday Activities and Food Scheme (HAF), which enables us to offer fully funded holiday clubs for children aged 8-16 who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals. In 2023 we offered 360 individual holiday club spaces, with the same number planned for 2024.

We are also able to offer a limited number of subsidised sessions for riders in financial difficulty through our own fundraising.

As an inclusive project the AVCP strives to provide accessible activities for the local community. Our interactive riding simulator is available to novice riders as well as those who are more advanced. The simulator is an effective teaching tool allowing the riding instructor to remain close to the rider as they as they are introduced to walk, trot and canter.

We have also developed ‘War Horse’ days in partnership with local primary schools, providing cross-curricular links and enrichment.

These days add meaning and knowledge to the equine references made in the book ‘War Horse’ by Michael Morpurgo which is studied by many schools as part of their curriculum.