Discovery courses have a huge positive impact on young lives

Students with special educational needs in Bristol are being given a second chance at a meaningful education through HorseWorld Trust’s Discovery programme. For the first time, we are able to see the remarkable effects Discovery is having on young people’s lives in the newly published Impact Report.

There are currently around 1.3 million children in the UK with special educational needs and 1 in 8 children are diagnosed with some form of social, emotional or mental health disorder. With statistics like these it is unsurprising that demands for Discovery courses, run by HorseWorld Trust in Whitchurch, Bristol, have been increasing every year since they began 11 years ago.

Students enrolled on the courses are usually referred to Discovery with a wide range of complex and challenging social, emotional and mental health needs and/or learning disabilities. The students complete a 6-week course in which they handle and ride the rescued horses. It is a chance to learn vital life skills outside of the classroom setting in a positive and encouraging environment.

Horses naturally desire calm and strong leadership and have no preconceived judgements, allowing the students to develop relationships based on mutual respect. The rescued horses have been given a second chance because of HorseWorld and have beaten the odds to survive. This resonates with a lot of children who are struggling to overcome difficulties in school and in their personal lives resulting in strong bonds forming between students and horses.

The incredible effect that Discovery has on young people’s lives was recently published in HorseWorld Trust’s Impact Report. The report showed that 81% of individuals who referred students to Discovery felt it had a positive impact on the student’s lives beyond the course. And an amazing 100% reported an increase in communication skills during the course.

A true testament to the value of Discovery is Josh, an ex-Discovery student who is now employed by HorseWorld Trust. He attended Discovery after being excluded from mainstream education and since his course has become the first student from his referral unit to go onto further education before being offered a job at the charity.

The Impact Report shows the truly incredible way that Discovery is helping young people in Bristol and the surrounding areas. Providing students with essential life-skills and aspirations to help them lead purposeful lives.

To find out more about powerful effect Discovery is having and to read the full Impact Report then please visit or call us on 01275 832425 to request a copy.

Article by: Keeley Mitson

Posted on: 23rd May 2019