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Local equine charity receives funding boost from Tesco

An equine-assisted therapy group in Kettering is helping children with autism and learning difficulties gain valuable life skills, thanks to funding from Tesco and a number of other local companies, including Brigstock Sawmill and The Rotarians.

EquATA has received £4,000 through Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme, an initiative which works in partnership with Groundwork to fund community projects across Britain.

Located in secluded woodland in Grafton Underwood, EquATA uses the natural environment, specially selected horses and a qualified mental health team to provide tailored therapy sessions for a range of people, including those with mental health issues.

The group has used the grant to transform the site into a safe and welcoming environment for both children and families. Fencing has been put up around the play area and fort, and the existing ditches have been dug out so that the area drains better in wet weather.

Jo Hawkins, co-founder of EquATA, said:

“Equine therapy is proven to be an effective and stimulating way of encouraging communication among children with emotional and mental health needs.

“Not only does it help boost self-esteem, but we’ve noticed a remarkable improvement in the development of their self-awareness, problem-solving abilities and team leadership skills.

“With help from Tesco and other local groups, more children are now establishing very real relationships with the horses and the benefit of these close bonds cannot be understated.”

Julie Gilles, Community Champion at Tesco Kettering Extra, said:

“It’s great to see how Bags of Help funding has made a real difference to EquATA, allowing them to improve both accessibility and facilities for visiting families.

“We’re proud to support local groups through Bags of Help and would encourage others to apply for funding online.”

 

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