A member of Morpeth Riding for the Disabled group has been named Regional Volunteer of the Year.
Gordon Cave was presented with the RDA North Region Volunteer of the Year Award by Malcolm Haigh, the chairman of Morpeth RDA Group, at a fund-raising dinner held at Char Masum Indian Restaurant in Stannington.
He said: “This is a complete surprise. I was not expecting this. It’s a great honour to be chosen for this award.”
Gordon is the third volunteer in three years from the Morpeth RDA Group to win the prestigious award, following Christine Jessen in 2012 and Abby Boyle in 2013.
Gordon, 57, of Widdrington, has been a volunteer with the group, which is based at the Pegasus Centre in Tranwell, for a few years. A former soldier with the Coldstream Guards, Gordon was looking for something to occupy his time and he found the answer at the Pegasus Centre.
Gordon’s practical skills are used to great effect as he repairs broken fences, installs electric fencing and new equipment, and cuts the grass.
However, Gordon’s contributions are not limited to repairing and improving the facilities. He also helps out in lessons – side-walking and leading horses and encouraging disabled riders to fulfil their potential.
More than 100 disabled people, children and adults, benefit from the riding activities provided by Morpeth RDA Group each week and Gordon particularly enjoys helping the children.
“It’s great to see the happy smiles on their faces and to know that the riding lessons are helping them in so many ways,” he said.
The RDA North Region Volunteer of the Year is selected from the hundreds of volunteers who support Riding for the Disabled activities in the many groups across the North Region, which covers the four most northerly counties of England from Cumbria in the west across the Pennines to County Durham in the east, then north through Tyne & Wear to Northumberland.