Posted: 14th February 2018

 

Ride High is a registered charity which transforms the lives of disadvantaged children. We effect lasting change in their attitude, self-confidence and life prospects so they become happy, confident young people who are positively engaged in the outside world.

We work with children aged 8-17 in Milton Keynes, particularly those living in the most deprived areas, for whom there is no or little support available. One in five children in Milton Keynes are living below the poverty line and inspectors have recently advised that care for needy children needs to improve.

All our children are referred by childcare professionals, often when other interventions haven’t worked. They all face a variety of challenges that make everyday life a struggle. They may be in foster care, a young carer, suicidal or self-harming, a victim of abuse or neglect and/or NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training). The children are disengaged and suffer from a severe lack of self-confidence. Without intervention they have little chance of a happy future. Ride High offers a unique and innovative approach to engage these children.

Over 80 children come to us every week for up to a year and follow a programme of structured learning which includes learning to ride and care for horses, associated clubroom projects, volunteering, work experience placements with our corporate partners, educational trips and visits during the school holidays. Time spent with the horses promotes confidence, responsible behaviour, respect and trust. It provides the children with a challenge, the opportunity to do something special and to develop a sense of pride as they overcome challenges. The horses are invaluable but they are just the start of our programme. The addition of structured activity in our clubroom drives the biggest transformation in our children and makes our offering truly unique. In this safe and secure environment our qualified teachers work with the children to build their confidence and life skills required to go out into the world and participate fully in life.

By the time they leave us over 90 per cent are thriving in full-time school, college or work experience.

Ride High was founded by Rachel Medill MBE in 2008 working with just six children. Today Ride High has helped to change the lives and prospects of over 1000 children and young people.