A ‘BARNSLEY institution’ which has provided an alternative form of therapy to people living with disabilities for 40 years may face permanent closure due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Barnsley Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) was forced into temporary closure this week after guidance from the organisation’s head office.

The extended period of closure may mean the centre, on Pontefract Road, which provides riding classes and activities for hundreds of disabled children and adults from Barnsley, will be unable to recover amid spiralling costs and a lack of income to cover them.

Barnsley RDA chairman Constance Grayson said: “I cannot stress how much this has been a difficult decision to make and we are all deeply upset by this.

“Unfortunately this may ultimately mean the permanent closure if the situation does not change in coming months.

“For our wonderful volunteers whom we rely on so much, if you can help out in any way with seeing to the horses over this closure period so Catherine has support please ring or message her as soon as possible.

“Catherine is putting together a plan so that we can take care of the horses each day whilst adhering to social distancing guidelines.”