A riding stables in Hall Green, Birmingham, has opened a facility for its disabled riders, which is made from converted shipping containers. B31 reports that Summerfield stables have provided a changing space, which houses equipment for disabled people to use the toilet, change, and shower.

The facility was installed after a fundraising campaign run by the parents of Evie, who suffered from a rare regressive condition called Zellweger disease, and sadly died in February 2020. Almost £32,000 was raised in her memory, and contributions were also made by the Veolia Trust and another local charity.

Michelle, Evie’s mother, said: “Evie was a very happy, determined young person with a great sense of humour. She loved visiting the stables every week and riding on Bobby – nothing was ever too much trouble for the stables and they enabled Evie until the very end”.

She added: “I am very grateful to everyone who helped me make my vision become a reality. I couldn’t have done it without the support of the team – it was a pleasure to work with so many wonderful people.”

Georgina Urwin, Director at Summerfield Stables, said that the fully accessible changing space was the start of further plans to make the stables a welcoming place for disabled riders. Learning to ride and care for a pony can offer excellent therapeutic benefits to young and disabled people, and helps them to grow in self-confidence.

The modified container was a far more cost-effective solution than building a new bricks and mortar facility, or adapting an existing building. The modular unit had to be adapted from a 40ft used container to 24ft, and fitted with an extra-wide door, special locks, and shuttered windows.

Meanwhile, The Express reports that as the staycation boomed this year, shipping containers have been put to another good use, as luxury holiday cabins on the North York Moors. Pete Barrett runs BOX BNB, and has three cabins near Malton which have proved a big hit with UK holidaymakers this year.

Pete told the paper he was in the US when the idea first occurred to him: “I stayed in a container in someone’s garden, basically. I just thought it was a great idea but they hadn’t done it very well. The concept was brilliant, you know it was on top of a mountain overlooking the whole of the city below.

He added: “I started researching and there were loads of people interested in tiny house living and you know, for example the Scandinavians, they do a lot of cabins and stick them in the woods.”

Pete also emphasises the environmental benefits of creating accommodation from a product that already exists, and would have otherwise gone to waste. His cabins have been converted to a high standard, and include all the comforts you would expect, such as electricity, running water, flushing toilets, a power shower, and Wi-Fi.

The repurposed containers have proved so successful that Pete has plans to expand his holiday business to other remote and beautiful locations around the countryside.

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