Horses helping north Wales domestic abuse survivors recover Tuesday 11 September 2018

Victims of domestic abuse in Anglesey and Gwynedd are regaining their confidence and receiving support on the road to recovery thanks to an innovative scheme involving horses.

Horses helping north Wales domestic abuse survivors recover

Women and girls are being given access to equine sports by support service Gorwel, in partnership with the Welsh Institute of Therapeutic Horsemanship (WITH), to help rehabilitation after instances of abuse.

WITH’s Overcoming Obstacles project helps women and girls become involved in horse agility and western trail riding to help build confidence and communication skills.

The sports participation scheme is funded by Comic Relief’s ‘Levelling the Field’ fund, which helps women get involved in sport they wouldn’t otherwise be able to.

Gorwel, which is run by Grŵp Cynefin, provides free transport to WITH’s Anglesey and Gwynedd sites for the programme’s users.

Gwyneth Williams, Gorwel manager, said: “We’re pleased to be able to offer a powerful activity to support vulnerable women and children who have suffered from domestic abuse.

“Horses can act as mirrors and communicate well to humans, so they’re perfect for helping people who have been through challenging periods in their lives.

“The project is particularly effective for recovering families as children can spend time with horses without spending money on private riding lessons.

“We have even had some go on to volunteer in Overcoming Obstacles sessions and compete in WITH’s Saturday Horse Agility League.”

WITH runs a number of training courses and workshops to build knowledge and confidence around horses. To find out more visit

Gorwel employs a number of people working on different schemes to support the homeless, victims of domestic abuse, and people over 55 who need help to continue living independently, across Gwynedd, Anglesey and Denbighshire.

Around 90 per cent of its funding comes from the Welsh Government’s Supporting People programme, which gives housing-related support to help vulnerable people live as independently as possible.

Visit ‘Your Community’ to read more about Gorwel or call 0300 111 2122.

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