Urgently needed funding to support Barrow Farm, Riding and Carriage Driving for the disabled in Chelmsford, has been donated by local Freemasons, assisting a charity that has been established for more than 44 years, continue its good work.

Members of Durolitium Lodge, which meets in Loughton, have donated £500 to the charity, which helps 140 disabled riders and carriage drivers every year to enjoy the benefits and independence that horse riding offers.

The £500, half of which came directly from members of Durolitium Lodge with the balance made up with a grant from the Essex Freemasons Community Fund, will allow Barrow Farm to continue funding their essential work.

“The money is very welcome,” said Karen Lehner, vice chair of the Trustees. “It cost more than £170,000 a year to maintain the charity and our finances have been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Every donation is important.”

There are huge benefits for the disabled when they can take part in horse riding as Emma Harris (pictured) who is mostly confined to a wheelchair will confirm.

“I love it,” she said, “because I can be in control. It gives me independence which I cannot have in my wheelchair.”

The donation from Durolitium will especially help Barrow Farm look after its team of 24 ponies which can cost upwards of £3,000 a week each, to keep stabled and fed.

“Durolitium is very much part of the local Essex Community and this is the kind of charity that makes a real difference,” said Iain Thompson. who will be the Lodge’s next Worshipful Master. “It is something our members have wanted to support and I am delighted we have been able to help.”