SERVICES OVERVIEW

For those with complex psycho-social needs we offer intensive and well-evidenced equine-assisted interventions.

Stepped down support is provided as equine-assisted top up sessions, AP (alternative provision of education) or supported volunteering.

A range of workshops are available for professionals, the public and our service users.

See our brochure, or read on below:

Equine-assisted Interventions

Our well-evidenced equine-assisted services are for 8yrs to adult, by referral only from Social Care, NHS Mental Health Services, Schools & PRUs,  Offender Services and other specialist agencies.

INTENSIVE RESTART PROGRAMME

Our ReStart participants have serious difficulties – typically more than four from the list below.  And they are referred because talk-based support is not working for them. We specialise in helping people who are disengaged or stuck – we are experts in action-based intervention.

We teach, rehearse and repeat 8 key psycho-social skills (see THC Star) in an intensive and challenging, but fun, 5 day programme with feedback in-the-moment from specially trained horses and 1-to-1 facilitator support.

  • anxiety diagnosis
  • ADHD
  • ASD
  • PTSD
  • not attending school (training, work)
  • relationship difficulties
  • mood swings/impulsivity
  • disengaged
  • self harming
  • suicidal
  • bullying, aggression, anger management issues
  • being bullied
  • risk taking behaviour
  • drug & alcohol misuse
  • eating disorder
  • offending
  • domestic violence
  • neglect / abuse
  • difficult family dynamics
  • in family with mental health problems, offending or D&A
  • living in care, leaving care or at risk of going into care
  • from area of high deprivation
  • homeless

Sessions are 2 hours long, on 5 consecutive days to help set new skills and habits. The results tend to be dramatic – see our evidence page – with participants shifting to a point where they can then engage with specialist talk-based support or re-engage with mainstream provision.

We provide detailed handback to the participant and their referring professional, and discuss follow on support.

Professionals are welcome to book onto one of our regular free Professional Taster Sessions on Eventbrite to see the site, discuss when and how to refer and experience the horsemanship first hand (or just watch if you prefer!).

All our ReStart participants can access unlimited top up sessions as needed; and are invited to continue onsite as supported volunteers if they need a supportive environment to continue building skills and friendships.

RESTART COST

The cost to commissioners is £950 / ReStart, we never ask the service user to pay. Where statutory funding is not available we rely on our charitable fundraising. If someone needs our service we do not turn them away.

To refer, please email or call for referral forms – we often suggest a 1 hour taster session to ensure the participant is happy to commit to the 5 day ReStart.

Equine-assisted Lighter Touch options

LIGHTER TOUCH OPTIONS

In addition to the intensive ReStart we offer Lighter Touch equine-assisted options such as:

  • Tailored sessions for groups or individuals – to work on a specific skill, where a full ReStart is not required
  • Taster sessions – a short session to establish whether a participant is happy to commit to the 5 day ReStart, or for a group to attend and assess which of them would benefit from a ReStart (eg. a family or a group from a school, MH ward, refuge)
  • Top up sessions – after a ReStart, as tapered support, or where participants need to come back, weeks, months or even years after their ReStart, to rebuild skills during a difficult time
  • Family / Foster family sessions – are useful after individual family members have completed the ReStart course

LIGHTER TOUCH COSTS

The cost to commissioners is £95/hour, we never ask the service user to pay. Where statutory funding is not available we rely on our charitable fundraising.

NB. All our equine-assisted services are for 8yrs to adult, by referral only from Social Care, NHS Mental Health Services, Schools & PRUs,  Offender Services and other specialist agencies.

Supported Volunteering

HORSES, HENS & HORTICULTURE!

Our Working Wellies supported volunteering programme is available for adults and young people who have completed the equine-assisted ReStart programme with us. 

We run separate adult and young people's groups and the emphasis is on having fun, making friends whilst learning or remembering skills around growing, cooking and eating healthy vegetables. The Wellies also keep the whole site spick and span – mucking out the horse barns and caring for the hens. Groups harvest, cook and eat together and take home plants and produce to continue at home.

Wellies maintain a Green Care diary to keep track of ups and downs and our Horticulture & Volunteering Leader makes sure everyone is in the right group and progressing towards their goals.

Surplus veg and veggie plants go to The Nest, our local food bank.

We are an accredited OCN London centre, and can provide Level E-3 qualifications in horticulture, environmental, animal care and life/employment skills.

OTHER VOLUNTEER GROUPS ONSITE

We also host a Dorset Mental Health Forum adult group. For more info about joining that group please email Dave.

SUPPORTING OUR VOLUNTEERS

We are always looking for community volunteers to help support groups or individuals. If you are interested and have appropriate skills and experience we would love to hear from you. (NB. we have a rigorous Safer Recruitment process).

We also need occasional gangs of community or corporate volunteers – please get in touch if you are able to provide a gang, especially with skills in construction or land care!

Alternative Education - AP

As well as a small classroom, we use all the outdoor opportunities onsite to create a relaxed and varied learning environment.

POST-RESTART

We can provide regular AP sessions as a follow on option for young people who need help to transition into mainstream school.

We are an accredited OCN London centre, and can provide Level E-3 qualifications in horticulture, environmental, animal care and life/employment skills.

We have a classroom, a chill-out room, a horse/human tearoom (pictured) and we use all the outdoor horse, hen and horticulture spaces to make sure that education can take place on the go. 

FULL CURRICULUM

Five Rivers also offer full curriculum one-to-one AP at our site. 

Non-Verbals Toolbox Workshop

The Non-verbals Toolbox Training workshop is for public and professionals to learn about reading body language and managing difficult emotions and behaviours using non-verbal strategies.

It is a fun, interactive workshop at our headquarters in Weymouth (2 hours), or on zoom (1.5 hours). Find out how to recognise the difference between shut down and bored; and understand when aggression is fear-based as opposed to true dominance and gain insights into what to do in each situation.

We will share non-verbal action-based strategies to respond to others or take care of yourself when emotions run high.

You will:

  • Explore a model covering a variety of challenging behaviours
  • Practice recognising and categorising body language
  • Talk through non-verbal strategies and how to use them

Why us? Our well-evidenced equine-assisted ReStart programme relies in part on our specialism in reading body language and responding non-verbally to increase rapport, engagement and calmness. This comes originally from our background in natural horsemanship but is now part of a tried and tested methodology with highly anxious or challenging participants. 

PROFESSIONAL TASTER SESSION

Visit TheHorseCourse – find out who and when to refer

A 1 hour taster session aimed at professionals in mental health, childrens services, social care, education or specialists who want to understand more about what our ReStart course can offer for service users who are disengaged or 'stuck'.

You will:

  • See a 4 minute film showing participants engaging in our work
  • Have a go! You will get the chance to work with our amazing horses, exactly like the people you refer
  • Find out how we achieve engagement with challenging or anxious participants
  • Understand the proven impact we have in moving your service users forward
  • Discuss potential referrals

Free of charge for professionals in statutory, private and 3rd sector organisations.

DEEP DIVE DAY

This is an opportunity for anyone who wants to visit for a whole day and look under the hood of what we do. We reveal all the nuts and bolts of the unique methodology we use in our equine-assisted service.

Who is it aimed at? 

  • Equine-assisted practitioners wanting to widen your perspectives
  • Horse people interested in effective equine-assisted practice based on high level natural horsemanship 
  • Frontline professionals with a special interest in equine assisted practice (mental health, social work, education professionals)

Content includes:

  • TheHorseCourse methodology and theory of change
  • All our materials - samples and explanations 
  • Have a go from a client point of view, with our horses and facilitators  
  • Our evidence base and how you can measure your own impact
  • Time to discuss your ideas and/or practice with our founder and CEO Harriet Laurie
  • Ask any questions you like!
  • If practical you will be able to observe a session in action 

Times: 10am - 4pm (bring lunch)

Max group size: 10

Why us? Because we have a world-leading evidence base and one of the busiest EAS centres in the UK.

Dr Ann Hemingway, Bournemouth University’s Professor of Public Health says: “One of the very interesting things about this programme is the consistent set of outcomes despite a wide range of issues, often multiple diagnoses and circumstances. The study group was characterised by high resistance to usual treatments, making the results more impressive.”

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We rely on donations from fantastic fundraisers and donors so that we never turn away those who need us. Can you help?

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Registered Charity No. 1141654/1170553
Patrons: Martin Clunes and Lord Knight of Weymouth