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The Fortune Centre of Riding Therapy

‘Looks Aren’t Everything!’


On Thursday 14th November 2013, the FCRT hosted a ‘Looks Aren’t Everything!’ event to raise awareness of the difficulty of having a Learning Disability…when others cannot tell that a disability maybe causing problems with communication…The issue of ‘invisible’ disabilities.

Appreciation to Community First New Forest, who provided a grant to enable this event to take place, providing a learning opportunity for those with and without specific disabilities; we shared the need to think about how many friends each of us had with or without a Learning Difficulty.

During Jennifer Dixon-Clegg’s introduction, a current 3rd Year FETH Course student, gave an insightful revelation of her personal experience, having a physically disabled sibling and the issues that arise for her when others assume it is only he that needs support, when she needs help! Sarah’s aim is to get pictures on restaurant menus to make ordering possible for non readers… Sarah spoke of being ‘side lined’ when out with her brother, as people do not take the same time with her, as they automatically assume she has no disability…Sarah’s disability is ‘invisible’ to them…

The audience was informed and encouraged by practical, relevant and visual presentations by Sergeant Louise Hubble, local Hampshire Constabulary Country Watch Officer and Pauline McWilliams, Principal Trading Standards Officer for Hampshire. Louise demonstrated that looks are sometimes everything and Pauline shared information about the invaluable Hampshire ‘Making Money Matter’ booklet and DVD. 

After a short break, Blue Apple Theatre (www.blueappletheatre.hampshire.org.uk) performed ‘Living Without Fear’; it was a  truly thought provoking performance, which highlighted so many topical issues, in a way that gave us all a clear sense of the feelings and needs of so many. A big thank you to the cast of Blue Apple Theatre and to the audience, so obviously committed to a greater understanding of ‘invisible’ disability and to spreading the knowledge. In the summing up, it was agreed that looks don’t necessarily give us a true picture and that it is sometimes what is not said that does not tell us the whole story!




A focus on the horse as dynamic dynamic!

Different groups of people of all ages, from the local and wider community, visit FCRT to observe, to exchange information, meet with fellow professionals, extend knowledge of the role of horses in education and therapy and to borrow the FCRT facilities. The FCRT library and other insights into our specialism are a pleasure to share with those who wish to learn more or to extend their study as part of training allied to Equine Facilitated work, such as Occupational or Physio Therapy, teaching, and behaviour and health management. Groups from schools and clubs visit to learn more about disability and to, themselves, experience the benefits of Equine Facilitated work. If you are interested please contact Paola King (email: pj.king@fcrt.ac.uk).

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