$2.4M UPGRADES AT MCINTYRE
1 April 2019
giving more children with disability access to life-changing equine therapy
More children living with disability in south-east Queensland will have access to life-changing equine therapy with a major $2.4 million upgrade to what is Australia’s largest therapeutic horse-riding centre in Brisbane’s west.
The multi-million dollar re-vamp of The McIntyre Centre in Pinjarra Hills includes a plan to add a new farm-stay, respite centre to support families by providing short-term accommodation.
HELP Enterprises, which is a Brisbane-based not-for-profit that supports people living with disability and where suitable, helps find them employment, began work on the McIntyre Centre upgrade nearly a year ago.
Work to date has included a new barn, vet room, a second wheelchair lift and extension of the main riding arena.
HELP’s Managing Director Kerry Browne said the upgrade meant an additional 50 children could now be enrolled.
“We’ve seen the benefits first hand of therapeutic riding, which actively engages participants while also enhancing their physical, emotional, cognitive, behavioural and educational learning,” Mr Browne said.
“Horse riding is a therapy that activates many areas of the brain and body simultaneously. Physically it also assists in the development of core muscles while also improving posture, balance and coordination – the benefits can’t be understated.”
And it’s not just children who benefit. 24-year-old Regan Hill suffers severe scoliosis in his back and his mum Raewyn said the therapy he’s had at The McIntyre Centre allowed him to do the physiotherapy he needed but never enjoyed.
“We struggled for years trying to get Regan to work with a physio for his disability,” Raewyn said. “He tended to get a bit silly or refuse to do what was required because it was hard or it hurt. While riding, he's doing the work without even realising it and the benefits for Regan – fun, core strength & stretching – are just wonderful for him.”
Work is still underway on the new farm stay respite centre and there are plans for an on-site café to give parents a sanctuary where they can meet and find support.
“It’s an exciting time for the McIntyre Centre and HELP, and we’re happy we are able to ensure this valuable facility can be open to more clients and continue to operate for many years into the future,” Mr Browne said.
New hub & "farm stay" homeDOLMAN ROAD, ANSTEAD
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