A Harvey volunteer group has celebrated a decade of giving back to the community, with an equine touch. Clients and volunteers came together at the Harvey Riding for the Disabled’s Weir Road base on July 29 to mark 10 years since the organisation first started serving the area. Founded in 2013 to fill a gap in service between two existing RDA organisations in Bunbury and Pinjarra, the group has faced many challenges, including the impacts of the 2016 bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic. However, perseverance among a group of dedicated volunteers has seen the Harvey RDA make it through thick and thin and mark its first decade of operations. Brangwyne McDonald has been involved with the organisation since the beginning, which has helped her continue a love of horses after moving to Harvey with her husband for retirement. “I noticed an ad in the paper for volunteers helping with disabled people and being involved with horses,” she said. “I thought, ‘wow, that looks interesting, I might just go down and have a look’. The rest is history.” There are many highlights for Ms McDonald, but one story involving a very young client stands out for her. “She had no core strength whatsoever, so when she got put on a horse, the volunteers had to hold her ,” she said. “Gradually over months, she built a bit of core strength and she could hold herself to go down 500m and back again, and she just loved it. “To see her grow in confidence was just brilliant.” Fellow volunteer Glenda Davis is also a long-time volunteer, describing her time with the organisation as a great experience. “Sometimes I’ll go walkabout because I’ll go on a trip somewhere, but I always come back,” she said. “It’s home really. We do enjoy what we do — rain, shine or otherwise. It becomes like a family.” There were a number of speeches among attendees as they shared stories about their experiences with the organisation before coach Sharlene Ward was given the honours of cutting the birthday cake. Volunteers were thanked for their service, with the organisation receiving an artwork containing drawings of all of the organisation’s equine friends. A decade on from its humble beginnings, the organisation is going from strength to strength. It is expected to soon receive a new electric hoist and mounting sling following a donation from Variety, while it was also recently announced as a grant recipient from the Foundation for Rural Regional Renewal.