Greatwood, the charity near Marlborough which uses ex-racehorses to educate young people and adults with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities(SEND), held a presentation ceremony on Thursday July 7 to recognise the success and achievement of over 100 incredible learners. In attendance were Wiltshire’s current High Sheriff Lady Lansdowne and Deputy Mayor Councillor Don Heath. Students from 13 local schools received certificates together with learners referred by Swindon Borough Council, Wiltshire Council, Youth Offending Team, Care Leavers Team, The Independent Psychology Service (TIPS) and The Harbour Project.
Registered in 1998, Greatwood Charity was the first organisation in the UK to use former racehorses to educate young people with SEND and has been delivering education since 2006 and has educated in excess of 2,000 learners from Wiltshire and surrounding counties including Berkshire. Greatwood works with people with an array of SEND ranging, but not limited to: autism, ADHD, Down syndrome, Global Development Delay, Attachment Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia and dyspraxia. In 2012 Greatwood was accredited by Wiltshire Council as an ‘Alternative Provider of Personalised Learning’ and in 2015 as a ‘Provider of Positive Activities for Young People’.
AAI(Animal Assisted Intervention) is the general term used to describe a variety of ways of including animals in the rehabilitation or social care of people; it is a goal-directed intervention designed to promote improvement in physical, social, emotional and/or cognitive functioning of the person involved.
Greatwood’s variety of educational programmes prepare young people, often marginalised by society, for life in and out of the workplace by helping them to learn life skills, achieve an accredited qualification, and ultimately assist them in achieving independence in adulthood. The programmes are accredited by The National Open College Network and 1st4Sport and lead to a formal qualification, which boosts the young person’s confidence in their ability to achieve success.
More recently Greatwood has extended its charitable reach to include the opportunity for adults to access learning at Greatwood, specifically Wellness & Wellbeing. With emotional wellbeing and mindfulness at the heart of this programme, Wellness & Wellbeing is for those experiencing common mental health issues such as anxiety and depression and for those who may have experienced trauma and have symptoms of PTSD. In addition, this programme is also delivered to other specific cohorts such as victims of domestic abuse and violence (adults and children); men only; teens; and under-represented groups.