Leeds Community Foundation (LCF) is a grant giving charity that invests in local community organisations.
LCF established The Leeds Fund as a way of distributing grants and sharing advice to enable community projects to keep making a difference to thousands of people every day.
Think Like a Pony (TLAP) is a riding centre that helps young children develop emotionally, mentally and physically.
Founder Lynn Henry shares more about this important project and how a recent grant from LCF’s Looked After Children Fund supported their work with social services.
What difference has funding from Leeds Community Foundation made?
The grant made it possible for us to work intensively with six highly troubled looked after children who were referred to us due to the severe social, emotional and mental health problems they were facing. The project allowed them to learn to ride, build a relationship with a pony and have a mentor to help transfer the skills they learnt to the challenges they faced in their everyday life.
What skills do children learn at TLAP?
Our understanding of ourselves and how we deal with life challenges play a vital role in how we interact with a horse. The project helped children to be mindful and take control of themselves mentally and physically. This experience can act as a powerful platform to overcome personal adversity and take control of their own future.
Can you share a rewarding moment?
Alice* was young girl who was referred to TLAP because she was struggling in many areas of life, at high risk of self-harm and disengaging from education. Since progressing to group sessions, Alice has grown hugely in confidence. She enjoys socialising and has learnt that with a positive attitude, she can achieve so much:
“I used to be nervous all the time. Now I am at secondary school and for the first time, I have a group of friends. I am not scared of putting up my hand in class and can even speak to grown ups. Think Like a Pony is a second home to me.”
*Names have been changed
Leeds Community Foundation relies on the generosity of businesses and individuals who care about their city and want to ‘give something back’.
l To find out more please visit www.theleedsfund.org.uk
l Donate by cheque - make payable to “The Leeds Fund” and post to: The Leeds Fund, Leeds Community Foundation, 1 st Floor, 51a St Paul’s Street, Leeds, LS1 2TE
l Twitter @LeedsCommFound
l Facebook @LeedsCF