An equine charity has launched an appeal to continue offer its service to children during these challenging times.

Summerfield Stables in Yardley Wood, Birmingham, hopes to raise £20,000 to feed its horses over 2022.

The riding stables has struggled to meet the demand it receives, with more children requiring its services than ever due to the pandemic.

Twenty six horses and ponies kept at the yard help children with mental and physical disabilities, as well as those that struggle with mainstream education.

The work of the stables is heavily oversubscribed and it currently have a waiting list of over 100 children.

“We’ve been so inundated with people,” said Georgina Urwin, a volunteer whose mother founded the stables. “Some have really suffered with their mental health since covid and parents have been struggling to get their children involved.”

“It’s been really hard with different restrictions we’ve had to restrict numbers. It’s been really hard on all riding stables, not just ours. Two very big riding stables near us have closed and one was for children with disabilities.

“We’re on a very small acreage so lots have to stay in during winter and we have to buy all the feed in.”

The fundraiser has reached nearly £4,000 since it was opened on 6 January.

“We’re very pleased,” said Georgina. “It’s allowing us to get a head start with fundraising to help meet the increasing demand.

“Several riders of our riders want to do sponsored challenges, one is doing a sponsored run on a treadmill, to help us towards our goal.

“People have donated in memory of loved one or a loved horse, and small amounts really add up, we’re really thankful.”

The stables was founded 52 years ago and is run by a team of six volunteers who are part time.

“We’re very determined it is going to continue,” Georgina added.

Lead image by Jon Stroud

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