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Mane Chance Sanctuary

At Mane Chance we support children and young people with additional needs, including those on the autistic spectrum, those who self-harm, have eating disorders and a range of physical and mental disabilities. We work alongside our 38 rescued horses (and other animals) to reinforce how to be less critical, angry and anxious but more confident, calm and respectful of self – and others. By helping children before their problems become too ingrained resulting in the young person going on a downwards trajectory into serious mental health problems, we hope to increase the opportunities available to them and enable them to reach their full potential.

www.manechancesanctuary.org Fundraise for us

01483 351526

Registered charity no. 1144144

Member since October 2020

Latest News

You've truly made a REAL difference in our lives

You've truly made a REAL difference in our lives

“2020 was tough for everyone due to Covid changes but for our family, coming out of 6 months home schooling and a return to Year 8 for our daughter, brought more challenges than we had expected.

Our daughter has had a number of social anxieties for a few years, but we thought these were just growing up and ‘with experience comes confidence’ stages. But a few weeks before returning to a new year and Year 8, we found her struggles were more real than just a few “I don’t want to go back to school” comments we’d heard over the last few weeks.

After one particular incident, we realised this anxiety was more than just a feeling, and was now affecting her, her thoughts and her actions most days.

Her return to school was sporadic.

Evenings before bed involved tears and “I don’t want to go tomorrow” which frustrated all of us, and often continued first thing upon waking, often leading to anxiety and panic attacks which stopped her being able to attend school days.

A few weeks into the term, and via some help with the school welfare officer, she was selected for a slot to attend Mane Chance for a 9 week programme. Her usual questions around “What if….” Came up about the course, and with continued anxiety she attended her first few sessions on a Wednesday afternoon.

She loved it immediately, and it was great to pick her up from school, after the sessions, with a smile on her face, and tales of what she had been up to - a lot more than we would get on usual ’school days’.

Through my work, I’m fortunate enough to have studied and implemented mindfulness techniques to draw on their benefits, and whilst I spoke and used these with my daughters, it’s not always something they will implement, having been told via their Dad!

However, having the same kind of information and topics talked about at Mane Chance, further reinforced the message, and she started to listen and understand.

These sessions combined with the enjoyment and interest of the horses (something she’s never been interested in the past!) and the caring nature of all the staff, has helped to bring out a more confident side in our daughter which has not only made her life easier, but ours as parents.

It’s horrible to not feel you can help your own child immediately, when they have mental health struggles and worries, and this has a huge knock on to our family stress levels and concerns of course.

But to see her enjoyment of these sessions, the stories she comes home with has made a real difference to her mood and our family circle.

So much so, that combined with our family work and some counselling sessions, she has gone from being off School 1-2 times a week consistently, to having 2 days off in the last 4 weeks, and I’ve noticed a real change in her confidence and overall demeanour.

She SO looks forward to Wednesdays and Mane Chance, not just on the Wednesday morning, but as part of her mindset when starting a week - I know she will miss the sessions and the staff there now her course has finished, but I 100% KNOW she will have memories that have not only helped her now, but will help her over the next few years, so thankyou ALL not just from her, but our whole family in a time when we felt hugely under pressure and helpless to help her - you’ve truly made a REAL difference in our lives”

Dad of a Chance2Be Student

Chance2Be - Community Work

Chance2Be - Community Work

“When it was suggested that some of our more vulnerable students may benefit from involvement with Mane Chance, I was not sure how impactful this would be. It quickly became clear that the project was having a beneficial effect on students who faced a range of challenges. Those students who have attended the project have found a new confidence For some students the reduction in anxiety levels is remarkable. After a year of involvement with the project I am utterly convinced of the benefits to our students. The positive impact on some of our young people has been nothing less than transformational.” Headmaster of students attending the Chance2Be programme.

Meet Grimbo

Meet Grimbo

Grimbo was one of the original herd of horses that we rescued when Mane Chance was founded and he has remained an important and central part of the Sanctuary ever since. Grimbo was neglected prior to being rescued and was due to be sold to the meat market, but Mane Chance stepped in and saved him from that fate.

He has had a change of position in the Shetland herd at Mane Chance since his arrival. Mr Smith, another of our Shetlands, who has generally been the leader of the herd, has obviously decided that he has got all the Shetlands organised as to how he thinks they should be and has chosen to stand aside, allowing his pal Grimbo to have his turn in taking the reins. Grimbo was happy to oblige and appears to have taken his new role very seriously – alongside his companion Thelma. But he truly shines when it comes to working with us to welcome our visitors to the site.

Grimbo is an incredibly gentle and generous pony to all that meet him and is willing to give his kindness to those who need a little moment away from the challenges of their lives. Considering his start in life, Grimbo has grown to be an extraordinary pony that shows great warmth and empathy to everyone and we don’t know what we would do without him!