CHAPS receives royal seal of approval
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal ended her tour of Swansea Bay with a visit to Gwalia’s Community Horse and Pony Scheme (CHAPS) in Gowerton on Monday 15th February.
The Princess Royal discovered how the CHAPS team use their passion for horses, to help those in need of support.
Her Royal Highness is linked to a number of animal and equine charities including Animal Health Trust, the Horse Trust and World Horse Welfare.
During the visit to CHAPS she chatted with people who both work at and use the lottery-funded project, which promotes animal welfare, engages urban horse owners and provides equine and rural skills training for people with a wide range of support needs. She also spent time with some of the horses that the CHAPS Project has rescued and rehabilitated since its launch 2 years ago.
Katie Double, CHAPS Project Manager, was delighted to host The Princess. “It was an absolute honour to meet Her Royal Highness today and we’re really grateful for her interest in what we do. We had various activities going on at the scheme so there was plenty to see and lots of people to meet. Our funders at the Big Lottery were able to join us as well as partners like Swansea Council, Cotts Equine and some representatives from the local schools.”
“Urban horse ownership is an issue affecting some of the communities in which Gwalia works”, said Gwalia Chief Executive Michael Williams. “CHAPS has made fantastic progress in engaging these communities and improving the lives of horses and their owners. The calming environment here and the routine of caring for these noble animals have proven transformative for people with a range of support needs. Staff and volunteers should feel justifiably proud today that their hard work has been recognised by Her Royal Highness.”
Big Lottery Fund Wales Committee Member Gaynor Richards, who attended the visit, was delighted The Princess was able to learn more about the project funded through its Big Innovation programme.
She said: “CHAPS is tackling a variety of issues in an innovative way and it’s great that our funding is helping a project embrace these new ways of working. The Royal visit has now provided a further boost to their efforts.”