A WIRRAL group that provides equine-assisted learning to children and young people who struggle with their mental health is up for a national award.
Hooves for Healing, on Park Lane in Meols, was born out of Pam's Pony Parties, a pony party business formed in 2010 by Pamela Clothier.
Pamela was formerly a Nursing Practitioner Assistant working for NHS. She took early retirement to pursue her dream of working with horses at the age of 58.
Speaking to the Globe, Pamela said: "Parents who visited for our parties asked if we could facilitate their SEND children, and so we did.
"As the pandemic hit, Pam's Pony Parties was unable to provide their leisure service any longer.
"We started providing one-to-one person centred sessions for children with additional needs, learning and physical disabilities in 2015 which really filled a huge gap for many.
"In 2016 Hooves for Healing commenced as a constituted group and we made our dream a reality.
"Four mums got together as trustees, and we became a registered CIO in 2021, providing equine-assisted learning to people across Wirral, reaching into Merseyside and Flint.
Founder Pamela (Image: Pamela Clothier)
"We now see approximately 60-70 clients per week and we run one-to-one equine-assisted learning sessions."
Hooves for Healing provides equine-assisted learning for Wirral's children and young people who struggle with their mental health.
They also cater for neurodiversity and some of their beneficiaries have learning or physical disabilities.
Pamela and her team have been nominated for the Equestrian Business Awards in the diversity category.
Sally Grogan, yard manager (Image: Hooves for Healing)
The ceremony will be held in Peterborough on November 25.
Pamela added: "To be nominated for this award and be in the final four is a huge honour for us.
"We have led the way in Wirral in what is now fast becoming a popular way of offering alternative education.
"It marks the hard work and determination of the women who have weaved together and inspired the working of humans and equines to provide a beneficial outcome, including wellness, mental health improvement, inclusion and self-belief.
"To win the award would mark a huge achievement. We are a small team who have believed we can, and we have."
To find out more about Hooves for Healing, click here.