CHILDREN’S charity Ride High has launched a new programme to support more vulnerable children in Milton Keynes who have been adversely impacted by the pandemic.
Beneficiaries of Harry’s Rainbow, the charity that supports bereaved children and their families, and The Henry Allen Trust that support families battling childhood cancer are taking part in a trial programme that will provide them with enjoyable experiences and bring them (and their families) together to reduce feelings of isolation, loneliness and anxiety.
Both Harry’s Rainbow and The Henry Allen Trust provide a range of services for children; including regular meetings for beneficiaries and their families to meet with others who are facing similar challenges to create their own support network. The pandemic has meant that these sessions haven’t run for over six months, so families have struggled.
20 children are taking part in a four-week programme which includes two visits to Ride High to spend special time with the horses and weekly ‘Ride High by Post’ associated activity packs sent directly to their homes.
A parent to one of the children taking part in the programme said:
“My son is absolutely buzzing. He loved it and cannot wait to come back. We were worried about him returning to school but going to Ride High has helped to provide a happy distraction and given him some confidence back. Thank you”.
Ride High has successfully used horses to connect with the most vulnerable children to improve their confidence and happiness and wellbeing for eleven years. During the lockdown, Ride High revised its usual programme to offer support through other channels including online and post. Following the success of this distance programme with its own members, Ride High saw it as an opportunity to help even more children.
Helen Dixon, Ride High Group Fundraising and Marketing Manager, said:
“We’re delighted to be able to work with Harry’s Rainbow and The Henry Allen Trust. The pandemic has had a huge impact on the services they’ve been able to offer over recent months, and we’re pleased that we can offer our experience and our centre to support their families. After everything they’ve been through and the added pressures of the pandemic, it’s wonderful watching the children’s confidence grow around the horses and seeing the smiles on their faces”.