A Dewsbury infant school has launched a campaign to raise funds to provide a pair of Shetland ponies to help transform the lives of their less able pupils.
The school, Thornhill Lees CE Infant and Nursery. School needs to raise £1,000 to buy and provide one years' maintenance and food for the two Shetlands and is looking for help and support from their local community.
The school is offering local businesses advertising banner space on their gates outside the building on the Slaithwaite Road - and are hoping others will be inspired by the project to help them reach their target in time for the summer term.
This is the latest project to specifically help a small group of children at the school who do not have the confidence to speak - last October music therapy was introduced. It is hoped by being alongside the ponies, grooming them, and for some, leading the ponies, will help them grow in confidence.
It is well documented that contact with an animal can have immeasurable impact on those with learning difficulties or those living with an illness and this was brought home to the school during a visit to their local therapeutic zoo centre, the Ponderosa, in Heckmondwike last summer when the school booked pony rides for the children.
Geoff Billing, Acting Deputy Head & EYFS Leader explains: “Many of our children do not have pets at home and just to see them with the ponies made us realise the impact this project could have.
“We know it’s going to be hard work and expensive but if it helps just one child to overcome and develop their confidence to speak, it will be worthwhile.”