Horse riding charity for disabled children under threat of closure because of lockdown

The centre gives teenagers like Cameron therapeutic lessons with horses. Credit: ITV News West Country

A horse riding charity in Bristol that gives lessons to disabled children, is under threat of permanent closure because of the coronavirus lockdown.

Mangers at the Avon Riding Centre charity in Henbury say they need to raise £150,000 before November to stay open.

The centre closed because of the coronavirus lockdown and 10 out of 12 of its staff were furloughed. The two remaining employees have been kept on to care for the 24 horses on the site, and maintain the grounds.

Claire - who's one of the managers - says, "I think by the end of this year on our current trajectory, we will be having to make some very serious decisions about what we're doing about both here and our horses."

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Cameron is 17-years-old. He has a syndrome which means he feels anxious and needs a consistent routine.

He has not been able to see his horse Robbie since the lockdown because of the closure. But, as restrictions eased, he has recently been able to walk Robbie around the stables with his mother.

His mother Lou says, "He's learning how to be confident, how to be calm, and these things just can't be taught anywhere else. It comes naturally with the riding."

  • Watch Sangita Lal's full report on the moment Cameron met Robbie again:

Claire added that the charity falls through the gaps for any funding or grants.

She says she wants to raise awareness about charity's like this that 'give so much to the community' but aren't eligible for support.

A crowdfunding page has now been set up to help the charity raise the money it needs to continue running beyond the lockdown.