500 Mile Charity Walk stop off at Beverley Racecourse
A pair of charity walkers tackling 500 miles around the county with two horses had a welcome stop at Beverley Racecourse last month.
Setting off on Boxing Day, Sarah and Nicky from Autism Angels and the I Choose Life Foundation walked with therapy horses Akua-Blue and Riley in order to raise awareness and funds for Autism, Mental Health and the Power of Nature, with a fundraising target of £5,000. They arrived at Beverley on day 19 of their walk, having left from Nidderdale’s Summerbridge, and lodged in the racecourse’s racehorse and stable staff accommodation overnight.
The charity is based in beautiful countryside near Harrogate and they own a number of therapy horses, which are used to help those living with autism and their families. Spending time with horses is widely recognised as being beneficial to mental health. As the charity’s site explains: ‘Horses are reactionary animals and have a range of emotions that create powerful and honest immediate feedback. Working with this model enables individuals, families and professionals to gain new insights into how they communicate, empower and connect with themselves and the wider world around them. When we couple this with our coaching approach, we create a very powerful platform to illicit change and empower you to lead your best life yet.’
The horses were also unphased by arriving in the middle of a storm, their human partners acknowledging: “This is possibly the worst time of the year to do a walk like this but we have chosen to do so because it is also such a powerful time of the year. January/ February is when most people feel alone, depressed, and the rates of domestic abuse rises and the amount of children being taken into care peaks significantly. Parents who have children with additional needs make up a high part of those statistics. We hope to raise money so that those who are most affected can get quick and life changing support from the team at Autism Angels.”
Kate McKee, Marketing Manager at Beverley Racecourse said: “The therapeutic effect of horses has long been known by those of us lucky enough to spend time around them, so an event like this is utterly fantastic in helping to raise wider awareness as well as funds. If just one new person is reached, then it will be a fantastic win. We’re delighted to have been able to help in a small way, it’s quite different to our main CSR strand this year of combatting loneliness too, so great to be able to widen the net of good we can do.”