Ponies make house calls to families in isolation

A stables in London is taking its ponies on visits in a bid to "spread some smiles" among people in isolation.

Park Lane Stables in Teddington is accepting requests to take ponies up to the windows of homes where people are in isolation, keeping the visits contact-free.

Stable manager Natalie O'Rourke said she hopes the visits, being made free of charge, could "spread some smiles in the community".

The visits require a large volunteer effort among members of the community.

Ms O'Rourke, who has worked at the stables for 12 years, told the PA news agency: "We've been getting loads of requests and we've been going out to lots of different people in different circumstances, literally just making them smile and breaking up their day.

"If you're on your own it's a really long day isn't it?

"They're trained to be therapy ponies so they're used to people, obviously on this occasion they're not actually getting hands on from people, but they're getting out and about, they're eating grass from different gardens, they're quite happy with that.

"The volunteers are getting that feel good factor themselves, and if they're people that are normally in a job and they can't work at the moment, I think they're feeling that they're giving something back as well."