Tracy Wilson Equine Assisted Facilitator
I am a qualified, registered Social Worker and have worked in a variety of adult and child sectors. I have been fortunate since a child to have ponies and horses in my life and have first-hand experience of how they therapeutically enhance our lives. Following my training and qualifications in Equine Assisted Learning, with the Equine Assisted Qualification Network I was given the opportunity to combine my love of working with people, horses and the outdoor environment in developing a community based project Foxdale Equine Assisted Learning CIO (FEAL). Over time FEAL has graduated from an equine learning facility for children and young people into a therapeutic centre for a diverse community and I have since opening had further training with the Human Equine Relational Development Institute to enable us with this process.
My name is Debbie Wakeham and I am a qualified social worker. Before starting as a volunteer at FEAL in 2014, I worked as a Family Practitioner within the Lincolnshire NHS Hospital Trust’s Community Team. My volunteer role gives me the opportunity to use my past work experiences when supporting the individuals and client groups who attend FEAL. Volunteering allows me to spend time with clients and animals in the outdoor environment which I love. I feel very fortunate to be part of the FEAL Community which includes working with a great team of people.
This is Brocky my Norfolk Terrier who is a big part of the experience of Foxdale. Brocky gets so excited about coming to FEAL to see the horses and all of our visitors.
My name is Doreen and I am a support worker for Adults Supporting Adults. For the past 2 and a half years I have had the privilege of supporting a young lady to volunteer at Foxdale. I had very little experience of horses so was a bit apprehensive when I took over from another support worker. I need not have worried, I was made so welcome from the very first minute and made to feel part of the team straight away.
It was January when I started and we had a few cold and wet days but the beauty of Foxdale is so special in all weathers that it works its magic on you from the start.
My first few months were a steep learning curve for me but the young lady I support ended up supporting me to learn all about the horses and how to take care of them. When the groups came later in the year it was lovely to be able to work alongside other volunteers and provide a special experience for the groups.
I can honestly say I love my time at Foxdale every week and I feel I get as much out of the experience as the lady I support
Emma Hughes – This is me with Aiden, I have volunteered at Foxdale since 2017, and love every minute! Helping with various clients, helping with horses needs, i.e. Filling hay nets , poo picking, grooming. I love sitting in the field with the horses to relax with them. I am learning new things all the time.
Karen Kowzan – Being new to the area I wanted to volunteer with an organisation that involved horses and when I discovered Foxdale it was the perfect opportunity to be amongst horses and to offer some of my background skills in working with students with learning disabilities and difficulties. Here I am about a year later helping out in this lovely place.
Hi, I’m Carolyn. I feel extremely fortunate to have been involved with FEAL from the very beginning. I have been around horses for most of my life and have had first-hand experience of the therapeutic qualities of these beautiful, gentle, sensitive animals.
I love being part of the ‘FEAL’ team combining my love of animals, nature and people. There is something incredibly special about quietly observing the positive effects our horses have on the wide range of clients we work with.
Although I now spend the winter months in Spain (lucky me!) I always look forward to returning for summer and autumn and my days spent at Foxdale. This year I am excited to be introducing my little Spanish rescue dog ‘Nela’ to the team of canine volunteers…. I think she will be a great addition!
I’ve worked as a volunteer at FEAL since it started in 2014 and I enjoy every aspect of it; the horses, the tranquil surroundings, the people, the countryside and being amongst nature. Foxdale is a very welcoming place, where I feel valued as a member of the team. Over the years I’ve benefitted from the chance to learn new skills such as Mindful Horsemanship techniques, Equine Touch, dementia awareness and first aid which have enabled me to work confidently with our different client groups.
As a former Speech And Language Therapist I worked in schools with children and young people with learning disabilities but now it’s great to be involved with people of all ages and from all walks of life and to see them enjoying the sessions and increasing in confidence around the horses. As well as planned activities, FEAL is a place where we can take time to be aware of the different sights, sounds and smells, to slow down and be ‘in the moment’, often with a cup of tea and some cake! The calmness radiates a sense of wellbeing, making it one of my favourite places to be.
Mike Wentworth Trustee and Volunteer
I have been involved with FEAL from the beginning in 2014. Some of our very first clients were children with additional needs which linked with my career in state education where I was a primary school headteacher for over 30 years. Although I had then been retired from primary school headship for a few years, I still had a real interest in helping children who experienced challenges in a mainstream school and it is a joy to see them blossom in an alternative setting.
Over the next few years I have become increasingly more involved with the horses, their care and management at Foxdale and discovered it to be the most wonderful environment in which to work. I feel very privileged to have been able to meet and work with so many varied clients of all ages since and to be part of a such an empathetic team of volunteers. FEAL has become an important part of my life.
I would also like to introduce Luther, my black Labrador who is also part of the team and loves nothing more than lots of attention.
Hi, I am Tracy Kerry. I have a background in horses and love everything outdoors. I have been volunteering at Foxdale since it began in 2014 and enjoy every minute – from helping care for the wonderful horses to attending client sessions where I see first hand the value Foxdale can offer to so many. I feel truly privileged to be part of the team.
I would also like to introduce Meg, my whippet cross, who is also part of the team and always excited to join me at Foxdale (as long as it’s not too cold).
Hi I am Angela I am retired and love volunteering at FEAL for the friendly and professional atmosphere. I live close by and wanted to volunteer for something I would enjoy.
I’m Kate, proud Mum of two teenagers and a Labrador, Aya. I love nature, dogs and horses and being part of the FEAL family.
I love learning and have studied massage, neuro-linguistic programming and coaching over the past few years.
I have a good deal of experience with disability too, as my daughter has cerebral palsy. I have seen, so many times, the profound affect that being around animals can have on our well-being and happiness and am excited to be part of a lovely bunch of animals and people who can help you to experience it, too.
Dr Vivien Rushmere is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, with over 27 years experience working in the NHS. She now works in private practice enjoying engaging with people across the life span, with a broad range of emotional and psychological difficulties. She is trained in Equine Assisted Therapy through the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association. She has been involved in research and service developments in this area. She is also trained in Animal Assisted Therapy and works alongside her beloved therapy dog Petra. Dr Rushmere thoroughly enjoys working in creative and animal orientated approaches and is absolutely delighted to join the FEAL Team.