Darcy's Equine Assisted Learning Centre

Our aim at Darcy's is to raise aspirations and ambition and to nurture the skills and attributes needed for personal fulfilment.

As the only approved Scottish EAQ Centre, Darcy's fulfils the standards required including:

  • An understanding of the physical, mental and emotional needs of the horses.
  • An outdoor, herd-based approach to horse care.
  • Qualified Facilitators who are PVG checked
  • Public Liability Insurance
  • A qualified First Aider

Founder and director, Eileen Mathieson, specialises in working with children and young people, particularly those who have social, emotional, communication or behavioural difficulties. After gaining qualifications in Social Care she went on to train as an Equine Facilitator.


An East Kilbride mum who put her heart and soul into opening Scotland’s first equine assisted learning centre says she is finally being recognised for giving disadvantaged children a new lease of life.

Eileen Mathieson opened Darcy’s two years ago after recognising a need for alternative education and life skills programmes for young people with social, emotional and behavioural issues.

Helping children with learning disabilities like autism and ADHD who struggle at home and in mainstream education, the award-winning centre in Strathaven is also a lifeline for youngsters with poor mental health.

Dedicated to helping vulnerable kids gain the skills, personal belief and qualifications needed to re-engage with education, employment and their community, the not-for-profit organisation also offers national qualifications.

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