A CHARITY that helps people with disabilities care for and interact with retired race horses has received a grant of £427 from Marlborough Town Council.

Greatwood, located on Clench Common, is the only organisation that re-train race horses and uses them to educate disadvantaged children and young adults with special educational needs (SEN).

Staff have described the unique bond between the students and horses as they learn life skills in this therapeutic environment.

Sasha Thorber-Hooper, fundraiser at Greatwood, said: “The people that come here interact with the horses in a therapeutic environment and they leave with a qualification. The interactions boost real life skills like empathy, communication and team work which people need to be successful in life. They also leave with an accreditation which is a qualification for them.

“We need to raise £550,000 every year to keep going so we are very grateful for grants like this from Marlborough Town Council.

“Horses come here for various reasons and thankfully there have been less welfare cases in recent years. They are then re-trained and assessed as to whether they will be re-homed or stay with the programme.”

All horses were originally bred for racing and come to Greatwood in retirement. There are currently 43 horses of which 20 are being used for the programme.