Grants for disabled and autistic young people for horse therapy sessions

September 8, 2021

Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) has launched a new fund to help children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Somerset, East Devon or North Dorset, access horse-facilitated therapy sessions.

Kirsty Campbell, Programmes Manager at Somerset Community Foundation explains: “These new grants from the Horseshoes and Handprints Fund will cover 50% of the cost of a course of horse therapy sessions up to a maximum of £250. Horse therapy – or equine assisted therapy – is provided in a horse-based environment to promote physical, occupational, and emotional growth for people with needs arising from, for example, ADHD, anxiety, autism, Cerebral Palsy, dementia, depression, developmental delay, PDA, Down Syndrome, brain injuries and behavioral/abuse issues.

“Close contact and interaction with horses is highly sensory and there are a variety of horse therapy providers in Somerset. Benefits for the users are many, including better speech and communication, improved memory and attention span, greater confidence, and a happier family environment. The Horseshoes and Handprints Fund is open to applications until Friday 5 November, 2021.”

Applications will be considered if you:

  • are aged under 18, or if you have an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) up to age 25
  • live in Somerset (not North Somerset or BANES), East Devon or North Dorset at the date of application
  • have a special educational need (for example a learning disability, mental health problem, poor emotional wellbeing or neurological disorders)
  • want to use the grant for a course of horse therapy sessions
  • are applying for up to 50% of the cost of a course of horse therapy sessions, (typically 10 sessions) and up to a maximum of £250
  • can provide a reference from an education or health professional in support of your application.
  • To find out more about how the Fund may be able to help you, or to support the Fund, visit: or call 01749 344949 and ask to speak to Programmes Manager, Kirsty Campbell.

Any community group or charitable organisation wishing to apply for funding should visit the SCF website where they can find guidance on how to make an application:

Somerset Community Foundation is a charity that helps passionate people in Somerset change the world on their doorstep by funding local charities and inspiring local giving and philanthropy. They aim to build stronger communities in Somerset where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. They provide rewarding and impactful ways for donors to give through them, to the causes and places they care about most. Together, they fund amazing organisations and the passionate people that change lives every day.

Since SCF were founded in 2002 they’ve awarded more than £15 million in funding, changing thousands of lives across Somerset.

Photo Caption: A client at Move the Mind, which helps children with autism and other neurocognitive conditions.

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