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New initiative to provide equine facilitated intervention for 4,000 ‘exhausted’ frontline workers

We’re delighted to join forces with other UK federation members of Horses in Education and Therapy International (HETI) to launch a new initiative offering equine facilitated intervention over the next two years for 4,000 frontline workers affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The #HopeForCovidHeroes initiative has launched with an initial pilot delivering the specialist horse intervention programme of ground and mounted sessions to up to 50 frontline workers over the next six months. We are now looking for frontline workers to get in touch if they are interested in taking part. Newly qualified teacher Jessica is one of the first frontline workers to benefit from the equine facilitated intervention through Gul Outdoor Therapy. The #HopeForCovidHeroes initiative has transformed her mental health and given her tools to cope with what seemed an ever-increasing task providing essential care to young people. She says: “It felt as if I was carrying the weight of so many people, and now I am being carried.” Photo by Gul Outdoor Therapy The #HopeForCovidHeroes initiative is available to paramedics, nurses, teachers, carers, police and others affected by the pandemic. The pilot will run in at least eight counties, with a view to expanding nationally to reach thousands of frontline workers. We believe that spending time with horses in nature helps improve a person’s wellbeing and studies undertaken show equines provide strong emotional support. Dr Celia Grummitt from Gul Outdoor Therapy, who is leading the HETI(UK) initiative says: “We know that frontline workers are experiencing overload and exhaustion, and this may worsen as the pandemic continues. “We are looking to provide an effective horse-based intervention to allow accrued fatigue and unprocessed memories of very challenging work through the pandemic to begin to be processed. “Evidence shows us that equines help us to process our emotions. Spending time with a horse can give frontline workers timeout to reconnect with themselves through connecting with horses and ponies and their sentient and sensitive interactions. These animals mirror emotions and moods and help people notice their own emotions, so allowing processing to take place.” We have teams ready to offer equine facilitated intervention to frontline workers affected by working though the pandemic at a time when they are exhausted. Frontline workers interested in applying for an equine facilitated intervention session need to contact the #HopeForCovidHeroes project team at [email protected] Name, title says: “We are delighted to be a part of this worthy initiative and hope to welcome many frontline workers into our safe space so that they may spend time connecting with our horses and begin to process their emotions at their own pace.” The #HopeForCovidHeroes initiative is organised and provided through HETI UK’s participating members: God Unlimited Outdoor Therapy (Gul), Mare and Foal Sanctuary, Chartered Physiotherapists in Therapeutic Riding and Hippotherapy (CPTRH), Riding for the Disabled Associated (RDA), Horseback UK and Fortune Centre of Riding Therapy (FCRT)