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

The 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.

How to apply

Any community group or charitable organisation wishing to apply for funding should visit the Somerset Community Foundation website:

The deadline for applications to the Horseshoes and Handprints Fund is 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 Bath & North East Somerset), East Devon or North Dorset at the date of application
  • have SEND
  • 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, visit: or call 01749 344949 and ask to speak to Programmes’ Manager, Kirsty Campbell.

*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 can 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.

Pictured: A client at ‘Move the Mind’, helping children with autism and other neurocognitive conditions.

Submitted by Somerset Community Foundation