DonorsFinancialNewsOCFA boy talks to two shetland ponies in a field

Jo Corfield, who has pioneered equine involvement therapy for emotionally troubled young people and adults, has received new backers since she began working with Oxfordshire Community Foundation.

Hopethruhorses offers a therapeutic service in the company of a free-ranging herd of naturally kept horses and ponies. Founder Jo Corfield uses the natural sensitivity of horses to help people recover from emotional traumas such as eating disorders, depression, PTSD and stress. In a pleasing symmetry, this process begins with the rescue of unwanted and troubled horses, who are given the peace and freedom to recover from their own trauma.

Jo says: “Horses have a deep understanding of fear and how to manage it. A stressed or frightened horse responds to fear by fleeing – they run from perceived danger until they feel safe, and then stop. Having reached a safe distance, their stress response dissipates and they relax. We can learn from them – how to value and experience the present, and deal with fear.”

In order to provide this service to a diverse range of beneficiaries, Jo needs funds to support the practical aspects of her initiative. She had considered registering as a charity for this purpose, but when she discovered OCF’s named fund proposition, she understood the benefits of becoming a ‘charity-in-a-box’ under our umbrella: the efficiency of running the administrative elements through our office, and the reassurance of being part of a verified and established infrastructure endorsed by the Charity Commission. She says “I am incredibly grateful to be part of the OCF. The phenomenal support we’ve had has meant we can keep going; reach more vulnerable and distressed people and pay for our magical herd of horses.”

Since working with the community foundation, Jo has accessed new sources of funding, in particular receiving a substantial donation from one of our anonymous donors. On hearing news of the donation, Jo was delighted, describing it as “utterly phenomenal. Thank you so so much. It’s made my day a million times over. The timing is incredible!” The funding will help Jo with feeds and vet bills, farriers, hay, grazing and dentistry, as well as upkeep of the land and equipment.

Donations to Jo’s projects can be made through the Hopethruhorses JustGiving page.