It was Darcy's that started his recovery. It was Darcy's that gave him that emotional and physical space to breathe and catch up with himself and give him a chance to start feeling better. Darcy's was his mental 'A&E', if you like! Over time, and through some miracle, we've managed to keep the channels open so he never felt totally isolated, which may just have kept him here with us.

Family of Learner, Children In Need Funded Programme

Over the last year we have been able to offer a number of young people with identified mental health issues the opportunity to attend Darcy’s which has helped them to self manage some of their issues. While with us, the learners shared what their inner and outer world's looked and felt like - and it was a devastating picture. Teachers and Parents told us that within school they were being bullied and many suffered from isolation, anxiety , depression and some sectioned under the mental health act. They have their whole lives ahead of them and should be looking forward to fulfilling careers and forging lifelong friendships. Instead we saw a pattern of young people so anxious in their daily lives that they struggled at school or had such extreme anxiety that they were unable to attend school at all.

Teacher

I was astounded. She spoke all the way home telling me what happens to the body, why it happens and how it affects her. In my opinion this clearly shows that the way the equine facilitator presented the subject and worked through it with my daughter had more of an impact than any other professional has been able to achieve. The project has allowed my daughter to recognise anxiety and its symptoms which it turn she is relating to herself.

Parent of Learner on Live Well Project 2019

My daughter has always been an anxious child. Doesn’t like talking or being the centre of attention. She was referred to Camhs as the anxiety, OCD and non talking was becoming a huge issue in her life and ours. In January this year our family suffered a sudden death which effected her more than we realised. It was recommended by CAMHS, speech and language and her school that maybe equine therapy might help as she is a huge lover of animals. This is where Darcy's stepped up and said we,ll take her for a 10 week course fully paid by the kind donations from children in need. The first week we noticed a difference that she was engaging with staff other pupils and of course the horses. She loves the serenity of the place, the kindness of the staff and the small group she’s part of. Now Nearing the end of her course we have a child coming out of her shell with new skills, more enthusiasm and most of all happier.

Parent

Last year our son D disengaged with school completely. He just couldn’t cope with other people and the stressors around him and he became very isolated. This led to him feeling depressed and lonely and we got to the point he could hardly leave his room, let alone leave the house. After months of waiting and assessments D was diagnosed with ASD.  Since being persuaded to try coming along to Darcy's in the middle of March, D is a different boy. After some of the 1:1 sessions we could see him smile again, he looked forward to coming up, something that we hadn’t seen in ages. We could see his confidence slowly growing and he would come home and talk about all the activities he'd been doing with excitement.  We were shocked and delighted to hear that he then joined a small group at Darcy's and is working towards some real life skills.

Parent of learner on Live Well Project 2019

The first week we noticed a difference that she was engaging with staff other pupils and of course the horses.  She loves the serenity of the place, the kindness of the staff and the small group she’s part of. Now on week 4 we have a child coming out of her shell with new skills, more enthusiasm and most of all happier.

Learner's Mum, Live Well Project

The pupils could catch their breath, take stock and gradually realise that they can achieve. Getting a certificate and a genuine qualification was a massive boost for our pupils. It gave them a taste of success.

Teacher

Another massive positive is that my son has now found the confidence to join in with a teenage group in our community called SAIL. This means he gets to be around people his own age, enjoy activities and be himself. So from having no real hope and nowhere to turn, he has excelled and it is thanks to Darcy's for their specialist training, patience and complete understanding of what teens with difficulties really need.

Parent of Learner on Live Well Project 2019

My daughter came home very chatty and hungry!! I'm so pleased that she was happier and managed to deal with the anxiety that was still there. But as I will always say, it's because of your ability to change and adapt to the individual needs which in turn facilitates that ability to allow her to overcome her anxiety.

Parent of teenager attending Darcy's

He was on top of the world! He had the best time and last night is the first night in as long as we can remember that he has gone to sleep in his own bed at a normal time! We are over the moon and can't thank you enough.

Parent of a teenager attending Darcy's

She was brilliant! Full of stories about her day on the way home.She has been really upbeat. Can't thank you and your facilitators enough, she loved her day and is counting down the days til she's back!

Parent of teenager attending Darcy's

The whole experience for our young people attending Darcy's has been a fantastic journey. Darcy's have worked with a range of our pupils who have had their own personal issues ranging from extreme mental health to behavioural issues. Before the pupils began their journey with Darcy's they were on the brink of being school refusers, isolated and struggling socially or finding it difficult to maintain mainstream education.

Teacher