I was delighted to visit Stepney Bank Stables and to join in with the celebrations at the grand opening of the new Learning Centre, a LandAid-funded refurbishment.
The stable yard was packed with the charity’s trustees, staff, volunteers and young people. Everyone present had contributed in one way or another to the transformation of a delapidated groom’s cottage – a very efficient use of the grant, and a great team effort from volunteers and excellent local builders. Newcastle’s Lord Mayor Councillor George Pattison was there to cut the ribbon.
Over 250 young people a year will use the new learning and social centre: pupils at risk of exclusion during the school day, and the stables activities after school. We enjoyed a tour of the cottage, a delicious buffet laid out in the new kitchen, performances from some of young people and a slide show of the stables summer activities.
To round off the evening the Lady Mayoress awarded prizes for the young people's achievements over the summer. Throughout the evening the horses were calmly munching their supper in the stalls around the yard, unfazed by the excitement.