An Opportunity to Make a Big Difference

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I’ve voted for two wonderful equine-based charities today (29 February 2016) in the ITV-sponsored charity fund-raising competition called The People’s Projects. In each ITV region, a small number of grass-roots charities are competing for votes so that the one charity in each TV region with the most votes can secure £50,000 funding from a pool provided by The National Lottery and Big Lottery Fund.

This could be a huge injection of money which would enable each charity to fund dozens of people to participate in equine-facilitated therapy programmes. I know the founder of two equine charities in this competition – luckily each charity is in a separate TV region, so I have voted separately for each charity, phew.

Sun Tui founded Dare To Live, which provides equine programmes with certification in life skills, for UK forces veterans who are struggling in transition to civilian life and who all too often are suffering with PTSD trauma symptoms.  Harriet Laurie founded The Horse Course which runs programmes for troubled children who find it difficult to engage with school and society.

Although each organisation has a different client group what unites each charity is that the people who come to work with the horses find it so off-putting or impossible to take part in talking therapy. But somehow a horse can connect with the person in a way that other humans can’t quite do. It’s wonderful stuff for building confidence, forming healthier relationships first with the animals and then with other people. The programmes demonstrate that the skills which are developed in spending time with the horses, mostly in structured activity or exercises, are absolutely transferable to education or employment or social engagement (if I am using the funding buzzwords!).

Although I have a solid track record as an accredited psychotherapist and executive coach, working for many years in private practice offering room-based talking therapy, I have to confess that it is the horse’s uncanny knack of tuning into the client’s emotional needs that makes equine-facilitated work such magic. I loved it so much I trained last year in this form of therapy and so I am now working in this field myself (at my premises in Wiltshire, rather than the consulting room in London’s West End).

For therapy work with horses to gain national and regional exposure like this as nominated charities recognised by the national lottery in the UK is really good news for equine-facilitated work. It would be even better if Dare To Live and also The Horse Course could win in their separate regions. They can each win £50,000 funding if their charity gets the most votes in their region.

Here’s how to vote and find out more about each charity.

Until 13th March 2016, you can vote online here to support Sun Tui’s charity Dare To Live in an endeavour to win £50,000 of Lottery funding in the ITV Meridian East region (purple patch bottom right of England on the website competition map):

This is the Dare To Live charity website

Until 13th March 2016, you can vote online here to support Harriet Laurie’s charity The Horse Course in an endeavour to win £50,000 of Lottery funding in the ITV West Country West region (pale blue area bottom left of England on the website competition map):

This is the website for The Horse Course: