Lotto cash aid to pony charity
MSP impressed by work
A charity which uses ponies to help disadvantaged children has been praised by an MSP.
Tory MSP Graham Simpson visited Ponies Help Children, near Kirk O’Shotts, after they won National Lottery funding of over £8000.
Heather Stephens and her mum Moira Ireland, who run the charity from Blairmains Farm, told the Central Scotland Conservative about the twofold aspect of rescuing abused and neglected ponies and also giving children from a variety of backgrounds a place where they can engage with ponies in a safe and quiet environment.
Mr Simpson was pleased to see the great work being done by the charity.
He said: “It was great to get along to see the great work being done by Ponies Help Children for myself.
“The concept of using ponies to help youngsters who suffer from with a whole variety of issues is a fantastic one.
“I saw first- hand the brilliant work being done with one of the young lads called James.
“He showed me how to groom the animals and told me how much he was enjoying the experience.
“Heather explained how being around the ponies has made a big difference to James and the other youngsters who come to them for help.
“She said many of the children have a very challenging and, at times, chaotic family life.
“Just being near the ponies has an instant, calming effect.
“Moira also told me of one youngster who had rarely talked before her first visit, but left being able to say a few words, which left her mother near to tears.
“Since then the child has come on leaps and bounds and it’s all credit to the vision Heather and Moira have had when they created the charity.
“Not only do the children benefit, but the ponies do too.
“Many of them suffered appalling abuse before being rescued by the charity and are bonding with the children and getting their trust in people back.
“The work done by Ponies Help Children has been recognised by many charities and also by
Mucking in MSP Graham at the Ponies Help Children base