Project information

H-E.A.L.-ing Spirits

Shy Lowen is a Horse and Pony Sanctuary and we will use our Equine Assisted Learning programme with groups of disaffected, excluded teenagers, to engage with and change the lives of these young people for the better, teaching them values they can use to make more positive life choices

January 2017 - July 2017

Charity information: Shy Lowen Horse And Pony Sanctuary

Shy Lowen Horse And Pony Sanctuary logo
  • Need


    Shy Lowen is situated on the edge of a large residential area which has a high index of deprivation, unemployment, antisocial behaviour and substance misuse.
    A local secondary school is the centre for excluded teenagers with behaviour problems, LAC, chaotic lifestyles and low levels of self esteem and ambitions.


    We believe that using the values and principles of EAL we can reach these young people and help to build their confidence to make positive life choices.
    Working in small groups, they will be taught to work on 1:1 basis with an animal which may have experienced similar lifestyles: the sentient nature of horses and ponies reflects the emotions and stresses of the handler and the young people, who often hide behind a fa├žade of bravado, will find the E.A.L. Trainers able to identify their needs

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Protecting at-risk young women (participants), boost their self esteem, improve their communication


    » Engaging reluctant participants in small groups activities which require teamwork and communication
    » Building confidence in participants by giving them responsibility for handling an animal and ensuring their well-being
    » Enabling participants to recognise their potential, strength and ability to make plans for their short and long term future

    What success will look like

    The young women will be able to develop personal action plans and take positive life steps utilising the confidence and emotional intelligence; they will be more resilient.

    Aim 2

    To promote positive choices for a healthy lifestyle, well-being and family life


    » Teaching participants the value of nutrition for the animals and themselves and the consequences of not caring for their health
    » Building on Aim 1, support the participants to develop emotional intelligence which will equip them with the skills to make positive life choices
    » As many of the participants come from unstable homes, encouraging them to communicate their needs and mend bridges within their families and networks

    What success will look like

    The participants will be able to describe and demonstrate the differences in healthy and unhealthy choices and consequences, for instance teenage pregnancy, smoking and drug abuse

  • Impact


    Young women in the area are vulnerable and there is a high level of teenage pregnancy, substance misuse and unemployment. By using interventions such as EAL and group support, these participants can be given the resilience to help them take steps towards breaking the cycle of deprivation they find themselves in.
    We will work closely with the school, support and health workers, ensuring that the benefits of the project are capitalised and embedded in other areas of their lives


    Lack of participants - this risk will be dealt with by engaging with a number of referral agencies;
    Health and safety - by ensuring that the participants are supervised at all times;
    Reluctance to engage - by taking time and working on 1:1 basis through the use of volunteers;
    Participant horses and ponies becoming unavailable - Shy Lowen has a large community of equine residents and will always be able to provide willing participants


    A mid and end project report will be sent to donors via email and also posted on the website.
    Donors will be welcome to visit the site to see the project in action.
    Constructive feedback from donors will be invited and where possible incorporated into the project to maximise outcomes.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £1,000 Admin Keeping records of project
      £6,000 E.A.L. sessions Coaching sessions
      £2,000 Supervision Hands-on with horses
      £1,000 Overheads Utilities etc
  • Background


    Shy Lowen is sited on the edge of an urban area in Sefton on Merseyside, surrounded by housing estates of high deprivation (one called Netherton is ranked 1449 in the national Indices of Deprivation).
    The site itself is rented from Sefton MBC and raises funds through a variety of activities to maintain the stables and care for the horses and ponies.
    Volunteers are drawn from the local community.


    Young women who are subject to exclusion orders from mainstream school, are Looked After, at risk because of antisocial behaviour habits and who currently have poor prospects.
    The EAL techniques have been trialled and tested as a tool to help disaffected young men to address their own behavioural, emotional and attitude problems, which they have to do in order to work effectively with the horses, as otherwise they are not able to develop a bond and work effectively with the animal.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Shy Lowen is highly regarded as a centre for the delivery of Equine Assisted Learning, with the staff being trained by the internationally famous Natural Horsemanship (horse whispering) advocate Monty Roberts. It has twice been named as Horse Charity of the Year.
    Shy Lowen is actively engaged with the local community, with children as young as 10 coming after school to help to care for the horses and ponies.
    It also has a good record of project delivery.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Roger Lyons

    Patron Mr Lyons works for BBC Radio Merseyside and is very active in promoting the charity

    Bernadette Langfield

    Main Coach and trainer in Equine Assisted Learning

    Jacqui Marsh

    Volunteer Admin support and participant coordinator