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Charity – Greatwood Charity
Greatwood combines equine welfare with educating disadvantaged children and young people with SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) and SEMH (social-emotional mental health) difficulties through Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI), using former racehorses. Greatwood’s innovative educational programmes are inclusive and designed for people with cognitive, physical, emotional and social challenges or disabilities, with the aim of making a real difference to their future lives and careers as well as facilitating their social mobility by challenging the perception of “success” and “failure” in a secure and nurturing environment. By providing a unique learning and sensory experience, it gives those who have little knowledge of the countryside and animals the chance of a totally new opportunity to complete real, physical tasks whilst developing their own life skills. Greatwood acts as a catalyst for change through inspiration and aspiration.
Greatwood operates a ‘Cycle of Rehabilitation and Change’: horses helping people ⟳ people helping horses; simultaneously providing those former racehorses that couldn’t be re-homed previously, with a useful occupation. At Greatwood we truly believe that everybody, deserves the chance to fulfil their potential, no matter what barriers they face; we focus on helping people develop the life and work skills they need so that their future is driven by opportunity, not dictated by circumstance.
Founded in 1993 and based in Marlborough Wiltshire, Greatwood is the most well-established former racehorse charity in the UK and does not have criteria for entry; we will never turn away a horse at risk; donation, soundness or age will not preclude admittance if there is a risk of neglect or suffering. For those horses that cannot, for whatever reason be rehomed and believing that every horse should have a purpose, approximately 50% of our former racehorses are used for our AAI educational programmes. Greatwood is officially recognised and supported by Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) as one of their Accredited Rehoming Centres. Greatwood is also a Member of the National Equine Welfare Council; in addition, Greatwood was the first organisation in the UK to use former racehorses to educate young people.
More recently Greatwood has extended our charitable reach to include the opportunity for adults to access learning at Greatwood, specifically the Wellness & Wellbeing programme. The Wellness & Wellbeing programme has been created and developed to support the growing number of people experiencing common mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, as well as those with low self-esteem and lack of confidence. In addition, this programme may also help those who have experienced trauma such as victims and survivors of domestic abuse. The benefit of this programme will be primarily to promote resilience, improve psychosocial wellbeing, and assist with post-traumatic growth, especially in the wake of the pandemic. With emotional wellbeing and Mindfulness at its heart, the Wellness & Wellbeing programme also has the added benefit of promoting transferable work and life skills such as communication and teamwork.
Registered Charity Number: 1117322