As seen in Manning River Times, 16 July 2021

Estia Health Taree has been active in getting their residents back out into the community again. From museum visits, lunch at country pubs, fishing trips, Manning River frontage walks, a senior’s concert, ten pin bowling and weekly shopping trips, the residents are enjoying the things they love most.

One recent highlight was the visit of five ponies from Wauchope. Learn from Horses is a charity set up by Deb and Rod O’Malley for the benefit of any group that would like a visit. Rod came with four volunteers along with Bunny, Mowgli, Maggie, Baloo and Konan.

It was morning tea time on a cold Tuesday morning when the announcement came over the PA, “The ponies are here, the ponies are here.” The reception area quickly filled up with excited residents wearing their jackets and jumpers, ready to face the chilly morning to pat the ponies. “Their beaming faces and interaction said it all,” said lifestyle assistant Valerie Brodin.

Those residents unable to walk were brough out by staff all rugged up in their wheelchairs so they didn’t miss out. And the staff – well they didn’t miss out either. To make sure everyone got the chance to enjoy the visit, the ponies took it in turns to visit the memory care unit.

“Their beaming faces and interaction said it all,”

The ponies were taken to the veranda area where even more delighted residents shared in the visit, putting smiles on their faces and bringing back memories. One resident was so positively overwhelmed that she couldn’t stop thanking the staff for organising the visit.