The Big Event Northern Ireland
I’ve done many an unusual thing and met many an unusual person in my career (I once got a supermodel to burp into a jar to give away as a prize on kids TV – a proud moment I can assure you), never did I think I would be kissed by a therapy horse in sparkly shoes and a rainbow cape!
(And no I didn’t go to the Rolling Stones concert with Rachel).
I headed to a very sunny Belfast to support the Motability Scheme’s The Big Event Northern Ireland recently. The two-day showcase is Northern Ireland’s largest display of cars, wheelchair accessible vehicles, adaptations, scooters and powered wheelchairs for disabled people, with more than 70 vehicles on display. Over the two days nearly 4,000 people passed through the doors of the Eikon Exhibition centre to find out about the scheme’s worry-free motoring.
Armed with my trusty iPhone and laptop, I ran the Motability Scheme Facebook page activity, collecting content, posting photos and videos, answering questions, and following around Billy the Bear as he posed for selfies and gave out hugs and high-fives. Usually Billy is the undisputed star of a Motability Scheme event, but not this time, with the arrival of a noble, if diminutive, steed: Summer the Therapy Horse.
Summer is an extraordinary pony, visiting sick and terminally ill children, and putting them at ease – somehow sensing the needs of the people she meets and responding in a very gentle way – tenderly nibbling fingers or blowing kisses. Her story is pretty amazing. She certainly caught the crowd’s attention at The Big Event, with children (and adults) with diverse mobility and cognitive conditions enjoying a moment of peace with Summer.