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The Hugs Foundation
Charity / Social Enterprises / Not for Profit
The Hugs Foundation is opened its doors in March 2017 rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming unwanted and neglected horses and ponies. After demand from the local community, we started helping people with poor mental health in June 2017. Our service to the community provides an alternative intervention and support to children and young people suffering mental ill health with the aims to improve mental health and well-being, self-esteem, enhance social skills, relieve anxiety, decrease depression, improve relationships and reintegrate with the community. We work in collaboration with the local community, multi agencies (e.g. social services), the NHS, schools, colleges and alternative provisions.
We have participants from the age of 5 years old, right up to students in college. Some of our participants come to us to simply build self esteem, confidence and relationships. Others come to us to explore their identity, learn how to develop social skills and identify their emotions. We aim to incorporate learning whilst they don't really realise they are doing so. For example, we often use the horses as examples of emotions and relationships (i.e. how do you think that horse would feel if....). Children often find it easier to put this into context before thinking about how they would feel themselves. Our sessions are tailored around each individual and what they feel comfortable doing. Some individuals enjoy mixing with other clients, others prefer being 1-2-1.