1524. Carrie Byrom
Carrie Byrom, from Lancashire, is a former international event rider who runs ‘Stable Lives’, a programme helping Armed Forces veterans and Emergency Services staff and children to overcome mental health difficulties and PTSD by connecting with rescue horses.
Carrie runs the programme through Parbold Equestrian Centre, based in the Douglas Valley in Lancashire, which is home to horses and ponies that themselves have been rehabilitated from exposure to mental and physical trauma. The charity helps those who have faced their own mental health difficulties, from anxiety and depression through to PTSD, to create bonds with the animals and take part in land-based activities that help them rebuild confidence. Carrie also provides respite days for children and families, which this year has included over 100 key workers from across Lancashire in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
In a personal letter to Carrie, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“Thank you for the way you are helping our brave veterans and emergency service workers overcome mental health difficulties with your wonderful therapy horses.
“By bringing together men and women who have experienced trauma with horses who have suffered neglect, you are allowing both sides to care for each other and forge new bonds of trust.”
“I feel both honoured and blessed to receive a Points of Light award. I work with an amazing team of volunteers and have been so proud that we have been able to reach out and support so many Key Workers, children and military veterans through these challenging times. It is always our privilege to witness how our horses can bring peace and calm when people are facing mental health challenges. Our work is ongoing as we are committed to supporting those within our area who reach out for help.”
Picture credit: Joel Penn Photography