The Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) has launched a national fundraising campaign to pay for an increased demand for its services.

The campaign, which will include targeted mail-shots and inserts in national magazines, is the first in the 41-year-old charity’s history.

The RDA offers riding therapy to adults and children with physical and learning difficulties at centres across the country.

But it says for every person who gets to ride there are another four on waiting lists, and it wants to extend its service to more of them.

Sally Atkinson, of the charity, said: “We are turning away disabled adults and children and out waiting list keeps growing – we need to increase capacity.

“We are calling for regular givers, as well as one-off donations. The current economic climate makes this a real challenge but we felt it was crucial to convey the message that RDA has a real need.”

Many of the UK’s top para riders started out with help from the RDA.

To find out more, go to the charity’s appeal web page, www.rda.org.uk/appeal/