Cambridge Freemasons put their money on a horse


Cantabrigia Lodge donation
Photograph show donation being made by Lodge representative Oliver Parr to Cambridge College RDA Chairman Gillian Newsum along with riders and volunteers.

The College group of the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) received a boost to their funds recently following a donation of £800 from the members of Cantabrigia Lodge. Charity being such a core principle of Freemasonry the RDA was an easy pick for Oliver Parr a member of Cantabrigia Lodge and a professional in the horse industry. Oliver is well aware of the costs faced by the RDA. “It’s not just the cost of the horses but paying for their insurance, buying their tack and rugs, the extras such as physio treatment and vet visits, and I am really pleased to assist our local RDA with their work,” he said.

The Cambridge College RDA provides riding lessons and equestrian activities for young, disabled adults and is run entirely by volunteers. It offers regular, weekly lessons to riders aged between 16 and 30 which are suitable for people with all types of disabilities, including physical, sensory and learning disabilities, with many riders having more than one type of disability.

The riders gain enormous benefits from the physical exercise, the contact with horses (they love stroking them as well as riding them), the social contact with other disabled riders and the confidence they gain from their achievements. All our coaches and volunteers are trained to help riders to have fun and progress whatever their disability, some of whom use specially adapted equipment to help them ride safely. For many, it is the highlight of their week.

Gillian Newsum, Chairman of the RDA College

There are normally 5 students in a group lesson and the cost of the purchase, and maintenance of the horses, is covered by the RDA. “We are constantly raising funds to cover the considerable costs of providing these activities. The £800 is a real boost to our new horse fund”.

The horses live at the College of West Anglia in Milton on full working livery where they are also used in Equine and Horse Care courses. They have a varied workload, encompassing all kinds of ridden activities, and take part in lessons in stable management and equine anatomy and physiology. It was while Oliver was undertaking studies at the College that he came to see the positive impact of the RDA.

Cantabrigia Lodge donation

About Cambridgeshire Freemasonry:
The Masonic Province of Cambridgeshire is relatively small, with Masonic Centres in Cambridge, Ely, Newmarket, March, Chatteris, Whittlesey and Wisbech. There are around 1500 Freemasons and 32 individual lodges. We pride ourselves on our friendliness and inclusivity, with members drawn from all walks of life and professional backgrounds. We welcome enquiries from anyone who is curious about our values and our history. More information is available on our website and enquiries should be directed to our Provincial Office in Cambridge via 

About Cambridgeshire College RDA:
Cambridgeshire College RDA is a fun and friendly group which meets weekly to provide equestrian activities to young adults with disabilities in the Cambridge area. Founded in the late 1980s, the group is well-established at The College of West Anglia’s Milton campus in north Cambridge and is run entirely by volunteers. More information is available on their website and enquiries should be made by email

United Grand Lodge of England
Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest social and charitable organisations in the world. Its roots lie in the traditions of the medieval stonemasons who built our cathedrals and castles. For Freemasons, there are four important values that help define their path through life: Integrity, Friendship, Respect and Charity. In today’s world filled with uncertainty, these principles ring as true as they have at any point in the organisation’s history.