Eat, Sleep, Ride is a small but mighty CIC (Community Interest Company) which uses horses to help address local social needs and bring its community together. Based in Lamberton, near Berwick in the Scottish Borders, it serves a rural community which is often isolated and offers few options for young people, in particular, to connect with each other.
One of those young people is Ivy, an 18-year-old who acts as carer for her younger brother. At 14 years old, Ivy was diagnosed with a condition that causes an overgrowth of cartilage and bone which resulted in surgery. She struggled at school due to bullying which caused her anxiety and depression.
Living in a rural area with limited transport meant that Ivy had very few options to meet others and to find work. To try to alleviate this, she joined Eat, Sleep, Ride which gave her the opportunity to learn about horses and outdoor activities, as well as the chance to meet other young people and work as part of a team.
Ivy attended Eat, Sleep, Ride’s Great Winter Get Together last year in the hope that she would be able to get out and meet others in a more social setting. Ivy brought her grandmother, her mother and a friend along and took real pride in being able to give them a tour of the yard and introduce them to the horses. She was also able to meet some new friends at the event and afterwards said how much she enjoyed it and was able to relax.
Ivy is now regularly seeing the friends she made at the Great Winter Get Together and through Eat, Sleep, Ride. She has begun both a practical equine training course as well as an online course in equine management. Ivy has also found a job through a local authority scheme and is building towards a brighter future. She says she is looking forward to being part of other similar Great Winter Get Togethers and to what her future holds.
From 12-15 January 2024, Great Winter Get Together events around the UK will connect communities and show that winter doesn’t have to be lonely. Find out more and register your Great Winter Get Together.