Engineers’ Challenge Anneka-style mission at disabled riding centre

Tracy Steel from the Washington Riding Centre with Brian Callaghan and his colleagues from SSE Home Services pictured next to the picnic area they have created using materials that have been donated by local businesses.
Tracy Steel from the Washington Riding Centre with Brian Callaghan and his colleagues from SSE Home Services pictured next to the picnic area they have created using materials that have been donated by local businesses.
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A TEAM of engineers took on a Challenge Anneka-style mission to turn a patch of waste ground into a picnic area for disabled riders in just two days.

The squad from SSE Home Services provided all the labour and persuaded businesses to donate the materials for the project at Riding for the Disabled at Washington Riding Centre.

Tracy Steel, education support officer at the centre, said the area would be used for picnics and outdoor seating for the 130 children and adults who use the facility each week.

“It’s just amazing what they managed to achieve in two days, we’re so grateful,” she said.

“The area was a bit of an eyesore and it looks brilliant now. We had some new stables built round there, so it’s great to have this new area created as well

“I want to say a big thanks to the lads and to the businesses who helped. If they hadn’t donated so generously, the guys wouldn’t have been able to achieve so much.”

The project was championed by SSE technical team leader Richard Isaac, whose wife Emma used to work at the centre.

He said: “Every year our company gets involved in a project called ‘Community at Heart’. SSE donates each employees labour for one day towards worthy causes.

“It is up to us how, where and who we help. I was aware of the charity because my wife used to work there, so I asked them if there was any way we could help out.”

Richard’s team levelled, soiled and turfed the land, planted borders, put up fencing, tidied the surrounding areas and built cement ramps for wheelchair access.

“It was heavy, back-breaking work and our timescale was tight, but all credit to our lads, they all worked very hard and the end results were brilliant. A big ‘well done’ to all the lads at SSE.

“The staff at the school were over the moon with the end result.”

The team and the centre thanked the Grass Centre, Dobbies garden centre, Burnell, Wolsey Parts Centre, HSS Tool Hire, GRO Supplies, Grab and Deliver Ltd and Chad Skip Hire for providing the materials and tools needed for the project.