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Disabled child's mother says Charlton Park Riding for the Disabled Association theft is 'absolute tragedy'
THE mother of a disabled child has spoken of the "absolute tragedy" of thieves swiping around £500 of equipment from her daughter’s "magical" Charlton riding club.
There were 14 disabled children who were denied their mobility-aiding pony ride at Charlton Park Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) following the raid on Tuesday morning.
A RDA volunteer hopes the crooks have a "miserable existence" after she discovered the break-in – where bridles, head collars and other gear were snatched.
Kay Campbell’s 12-year-old daughter Emily suffers from cerebral palsy and could hardly sit up straight before attending the volunteer-run club which she says acts like a "magic wand".
The 57-year-old, who lives off Rochester Way, Kidbrooke, told News Shopper: "It is an absolutely tragedy.
"It is terrible because without the equipment it affects so many disabled children each week. It is such a shame.
"Emily’s been riding here since she was three and to be honest with you it has made such a difference to her – she couldn’t even sit up before she came to Charlton Park and shortly after that she started to ride and now she can walk.
"It is like having a magic wand."
Speaking of the impact of the theft, she said: "If Emily doesn’t ride she gets very stiff. The riding enables her legs which are affected by cerebral palsy."
The grandmother-of-10 went on to praise volunteers at the riding group - one of the only free branches left in the country for disabled children aged two-and-a-half to 19 years of age.
Carol Kendall, who has volunteered for the association for 22 years, discovered the theft - which is the third time the clearly-marked disabled club has been targeted in 20 years.
She told News Shopper: "I found a bridle on the path which had been dropped.
"I had just got up to put the hay down at 7am.
‘We had to cancel – some of those kids are in wheelchairs and that is their opportunity to get off them and experience a different viewpoint."
Speaking about the crooks, the 52-year-old mother-of-two added: "I hope they have a miserable existence and I hope someone takes something precious to them and that they never need us."
To find out more contact Charlton Park Riding for the Disabled Association on 020 8317 1528 . To donate click here.