Young people struggling to find work or stay in education could soon find themselves cantering towards a better future thanks to a new scheme.
A Fylde coast riding school has joined Changing Lives through Horses programme run by the British Horse Society.
The Midgeland Riding School has started a programme supporting young people who are at risk of becoming NEET – not in employment, education or training.
It aims to offers skills and reignite a desire to learn, encouraging young people to return to education or employment.
Wendy Ellis, proprietor of Marton riding school said: “We’re thrilled to support the BHS with the Changing Lives Through Horses Programme and look forward to working with young people within the local communities in Blackpool, Fylde, Wyre and Preston that need our help.
“Working with horses is a great experience for young people and can help boost confidence and get them learning new things.”
The school has a track record of encouraging people who might not normally have the chance to ride to get involved with horses.
In 2015 it bought a £50,000 mechanical horse to help disabled people train to ride.
Government figures suggest there are 843,000 people aged 16-24 years old who are NEET.
These young people are at risk of becoming socially excluded and with an income below the poverty line.
Changing Lives provides young people with the opportunity to learn new skills and increase their knowledge, supporting them to reconnect with society, whether they choose to work with horses or explore a completely different career path.
Katie Field, Changing Lives through Horses programme leader, said the programme aims to inspire young people and give them skills to stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives.
She said: “It has been one year since we launched the programme and we are thrilled to have grown so quickly. We want to continue to expand the programme so we can help change more lives. We are extremely excited that we can welcome Midgeland on board.”
Further information regarding the programme can be found on the British Horse Society website or alternatively by contacting the Midgeland Riding School in Midgeland Road, Marton on 01253 693312.