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100 People Who Care PEC helps the healing begin

Walker, 14, holds Boomer in place as 100 People Who Care members Richard Byers, left, Joanne Rose, Bill Roberts, Mark Davis and David Fox present Suzanne Latchford (centre) of Heal with Horses, this quarter’s $11,800 donation. Sue Capon photo

When the Heal with Horses Therapeutic Centre was named this quarter’s recipient of $11,800 from 100 People Who Care PEC, the membership was thrilled.

“When the vote was counted and announced, there was a big cheer in the room,” said founding member Richard Byers noting many of the group’s 118 contributors knew about Heal with Horses and the work it does.

“It’s love with no strings attached.”

Heal with Horses, a not-for-profit organization in Hillier, is dedicated to improving mental and physical wellness in children and adults – with specific benefits to those with autism, Attention Deficit Disorder, PSD, anxiety and depression.

Help not only comes with a mane and four legs, but also from centre’s many small social animals – hedgehogs, mini pigs, goats, lambs, dogs, cats and plenty of chickens.

The 35-acre centre, owned and facilitated by Suzanne Latchford, recently received charitable status, helpful to gain funding to cover and expand programs. She was thankful to 100 People Who Care PEC for the bountiful support.

“It means so much,” she said. “We’ll dedicate it to programming. There’s still some people out there who could really use the services here but don’t have the funding to do it, such as abused women, First Nations or even foster kids. It would be a great place for them to come to feel the unconditional love and develop more of a sense of self.”

Demonstrating his horseback riding skills at the presentation of the cheques, Walker, 14, has been coming to Heal with Horses for the past three years with his brothers.

Latchford says the self-advocacy promoted in their programs invites children to make their own decisions and find self esteem.

“His speech has developed, being around nature and the animals, and even the rhythm of the horse helps with the feel-good hormones serotonin and oxytocin,” said Latchford. “And that helps the brain receptors connect and make positive changes. Families keep coming back because it’s a happy, joyful time and they’re all getting therapeutic benefits at the same time. They want to be here. Sometimes the kids cry when it’s time to go.”

The Heal with Horses centre was nominated for the donation by member Chris Rogers.

“This is exactly the kind of thing we like to do,” said Mark Davis, another founding member. “It’s with joy we come here today to help every day kids and this organization doing fabulous work.”

The 100 People Who Care group is based on the simple concept of bringing together members who commit to contribute $100 at each of four meetings annually, to make an enormous impact on a local charity.

Past recipients of donations include the Wellington Auxiliary Rescue Association, Reaching for Rainbows, Prince Edward Learning Centre, the Picton United Church Food Bank, Alternatives for Women, and Glenwood Cemetery.

For more information on 100 People Who Care PEC, email or visit their website at .

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