Veterans' Foundation support is helping one equine charity defy the statistics and provide exceptional support to British veterans in need.
After the British Horse `Society confirmed that 15% of riding establishments closed in the last 12 months, the Armed Forces Equine Charity ('AFEC') has received £40,000 of funding over two years from the VF, providing them with the ability to grow and invest in their equestrian centres, cafés and hubs all over the UK.
The grant money will provide 50% of the salaries required to employ an additional three members of charity staff to run & further develop AFEC's operations in Wiltshire, Surrey, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Yorkshire, to name but a few.
AFEC is a health and wellbeing charity that is using new and innovative ways to support the Armed Forces Communities wherever they may be.
The charity's centres sit at the geographical heart of bases, garrison and stations, and from these centres AFEC uses the power of horses, the benefits of the green environment and trust gained from comradeship, to help people unlock closed doors in their mental and physical health.
Despite how challenging the current cost of living crisis and COVID financial recovery is on the charity's centres, the demand for AFEC's services is growing rapidly and Chief Executive, Jamie Balls, believes that it is more important than ever to harness the power that animals can have on our lives.
“We have supported just over 19,000 members of the Armed Forces community with affordable accessible and available equine sport and recreation in the last 12 months. At the same time, we also delivered equine assisted therapy, recovery and rehabilitation to just over 450 serving, wounded, injured and sick, and 55 highly vulnerable and isolated military veterans.
We continued our Equine Assisted Learning programmes for schools and for those neurodiverse young people and their families, while our community hubs/cafes are becoming havens of support and friendship," he explained.
"This investment by the Veterans’ Foundation means we can deliver greater social value from all of our centres over the next two years. From us and all we support, thank you to the Veterans’ Foundation.”
From the moment the charity helps to unlock those closed doors in veterans' mental and physical health, to the point at which the charity is no longer needed, they standby and support the individual as their resilience returns and people reach their goals for happier and healthier lives. It is a simple yet very effective formulae of 'Horses + Humans + Support = Happiness + Health + Improved Lived Experience'.
Veterans’ Foundation Founder & CEO, Major General David Shaw, said: “The Veterans’ Foundation is proud to support the Armed Forces Equine Charity’s excellent work in mental and physical therapy, recovery and rehabilitation for members of our Armed Forces community who need support.
Grant awards to charitable organisations like this wouldn’t be possible without the public’s support of the Veterans’ Foundation and its Veterans’ Lottery, and we are incredibly grateful for every single person who has contributed – your support is actively helping British veterans in need every single day.”
Donations, legacies and the players of the Veterans’ Lottery have already helped the Veterans’ Foundation to award over £18 million in grants to more than 420 unique organisations, many of them small to medium sized.
To support organisations just like the Armed Forces Equine Charity, you can sign up to play the Veterans’ Lottery below and be in with a chance to win £50,000 every month!