At HRA, we are always looking at new ways to engage those within our local community and subject to funding, we plan to develop our outreach programme further. We currently work in partnership with two organisations from the local area.
Working in partnership with Kingston and Richmond Young Carers, we offer outreach days for young carers between the ages of 5-18. Young Carers are young people who look after parents or siblings with a range of difficulties including mental or physical illness, alcohol or substance misuse and disability. Each Young Carer’s circumstance is different but regardless of the situation, looking after a loved one is a big responsibility, especially for a young person.
Our outreach days, known as, ‘Horse Ranger for a day’ gives Young Carers the opportunity to experience what it is like to look after a horse. They learn what is involved in caring for the horse and they also experience what it is like to groom and ride! Learning new skills is a good way to build confidence and being around other children and young people helps decrease social isolation.
It is great to receive positive feedback from these days:
‘I just wanted to thank you so much for the amazing day that my child had yesterday.
The Horse Ranger day-out surpassed both of our expectations. As a mother you only want your children to be happy, and it has given my child such a huge boost that I can’t thank you enough’-Parent of a Young Carer attending one of our outreach days
‘Thank you so much for another amazing day with the horses! We always love coming for the day and we really appreciate all that you do for us’-Kingston Young Carers Project.
Achieving for Children- Reparation work
As part of our RDA volunteering programme, we offer reparation work for young people who may have been involved with the Criminal Justice System. These young people are an asset to us because they offer valuable help during our RDA sessions. Being around the horses and engaging with riders and fellow volunteers can increase social skills and confidence as well as practical skills, all of which, can be transferred to other aspects of their lives with the view to creating positive future outcomes for the individual.
Achieving for Children- Family Support
Following on from the success of our Young Carer Days, we now offer the same programme to children and young people who are being support by our local Children’s Services. Whilst this is the same programme as that for Young Carers, we have secured funding from Richmond Parish Lands Charity to offer five places for children and young people who attend this programme to go on to join our mainstream squadrons for one year.