“I have loved working with the horses and loved meeting new people too”
We worked in collaboration with leading the way project to support young people working closely with the SEND community, asylum seekers, refugees and care experienced young people to help combat mental health and wellbeing issues by using therapy animals that included horses and Shetland ponies.
“Being out in the fresh air has really made me feel happy”
The 6-week programme consisted of different activities including using the emotional scale, boundary settings, building obstacle courses to build trust with the ponies, animal body language, instinctive decisions, and the uses of horses in different climates and countries.
At the end of every activity, Leicestershire cares then delivered an employability session. This helped to reflect on what the horses had taught the YP in that session and what skills they could take forward into the world of work. We also used a reflective diary to help the YP see their confidence improve and how and if they had noticed any changes within themselves.
A key challenge we faced in delivering the programme involved working with a group of young people from the BACA project whose first language wasn’t English. The BACA project enables young people 16+ in age who are seeking asylum, some of whom have been victims of trafficking, to achieve this positive future through providing specialist supported accommodation and holistic development training.
Due to Leicestershire Cares collaborative work with the Freedom programme, we were able to recruit a volunteer who is currently accessing both services who is a native Arabic speaker. This not only enabled the young person to gain some valuable experience, it also overcome communications issues that had impacted on the groups participation initially. This changed the dynamic of the group and made it much easier for the sessions to flow.
From the feedback we received, all parties involved were happy with how the sessions ran and the project overall. We look forward to working with Dina and The Way of The Horse in the near future.
“I have loved learning more about myself and other people in my life and have enjoyed working with so many different great young people”
For more information please contact our Powering Up Project Development Manager