Couple Left “Devastated” as Horse Therapy Centre Destroyed by Arwen
A couple in South Gloucestershire have been left “devastated” after last weekend’s Storm Arwen destroyed their equine therapy centre for children with additional needs. They were phoned in the early hours of the morning of 27th November and told the devastating news.
Owner, Lauren Jones, who runs the Westerleigh stables said how the roof collapsed, leaving horses trapped inside and terrified. Fortunately, only one pony suffered a minor injury to it’s leg, “it could have been a lot worse” said Lauren.
Lauren and her friend, who works on a voluntary basis, were delighted to be able to see the positive impact the stables and environment have had on the children and young people who were going there. The children carry out simple tasks such as filling haynets and mucking out the stables. She went on “even the children who are afraid of the horses, benefit from just playing with the dogs and are able to build trust in the horses in their own time”.
Feeling despondent, Lauren now must close the facility until repairs can be carried out to make the stables safe. She said “Mother Nature can be so unkind, we have put blood, sweat and tears into this over the last year to finally have SEND (children with special educational needs) young persons able to have the therapy”. The roof had to be cut up to safely remove it, so it is not just a case of refitting it – it will need to be reconstructed.
The couple had only recently completed the new building after the old stables had to be taken down. Lauren’s husband described how she and her friend were “in tears” as he had to cut down and dismantle the newly completed roof to render it safe. He told how he and his brother in law had “used life savings” to complete the new stables.
Lauren has made a plea for help and a fundraiser page has been opened where people have been generously donating. All funds will enable the stables to re-open as soon as possible and help the young people who benefit so much from this important therapy.
Lauren thanked everybody for their extremely kind donations so far and told of one particular man who made a large donation which “brought me and my husband to our knees in tears”. They are so grateful for the generosity of people and how this will help bring back this important facility to children with special educational needs.
To support Lauren visit her GoFundMe page
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