Sirona Therapeutic Horsemanship – Western Morning News – March 2015

Sirona Therapeutic HorsemanshipDevon-based organisation Sirona Therapeutic Horsemanship have recently celebrated receiving over £24,000 in grants to help support their work with disadvantaged and vulnerable young people. The grants included £9,220 from Children in Need, £1,000 from Devon Community Foundation and a whopping £14,500 from the Northbrook Trust.

Hannah Burgon, co-director, said: “We are hugely grateful for these grants which will enable us to provide more courses and horsemanship sessions to young people this coming year.” Now in their third year, Sirona help over 150 participants a year from their centre based in the grounds of the charity Hannah’s at Seale Hayne, near Newton Abbot. Last year they introduced the Level 1 Horse Care course in partnership with Duchy College which the new grants will help to support.

Di Gammage, psychotherapist and co-director, explained: “Many of the young people who attend Sirona struggle in school for one reason or another, some are fostered or adopted and have had a difficult start in life meaning that they find it difficult to make friends and settle at school. By learning to look after horses and building friendships with them they are then able to start to transfer some of these new found skills and benefits  back into their lives.”

Sirona is offering several new courses this year for people interested in finding out more about equine-assisted learning and therapy at Sirona. These include ‘Mindfulness and Horses’ which incorporates some of the mindfulness techniques they use at Sirona as well as a week long ‘Equidramatherapy’ summer course where art and drama activities are included alongside learning with the horses and proved highly popular with young people last year.

Sirona Therapeutic Horsemanship hold open days from time to time where members of the horse and human team will be on hand to meet the public and answer any questions. For more information visit the website

Little Bridge House Children’s Hospice

Little Bridge Children's HospiceLittle Bridge House children’s hospice in Barnstaple provides respite, emergency and end of life care to children with life-limiting conditions and illnesses. The hospice provides whole family care supporting the needs of parents and siblings too. Our dedicated Care Team supports families from the point of diagnosis or referral, through their child’s life and into bereavement.

Over the years the Trustees of the Northbrook Community Trust have supported the hospice with a range of equipment including a specialist bed, wetroom chairs and bathroom trolleys, and a sun canopy  to enable children with light sensitive skin to play outside. “Specialist equipment such as the shower trolley really do make a phenomenal difference to the children’s care, allowing us to provide the safest of comforts.” Head of Care Tracey Freame.

Mostly recently the Trustees have provided a grant to create an additional bedroom for siblings visiting the hospice with their sick brother/sister. We are truly grateful to the Trustees for their support which is enabling us to provide an extra 300 bednights of care and support every year for children facing difficult times. “I love Little Bridge House! It’s my favourite place. I wouldn’t be able to live without it!”

For more information visit the website