We work with a lot of lovely community clubs and charities here at The Pier, but none have given me a glow recently quite like Hippotherapy Northumberland.
Let's dispel a few misunderstandings right off the bat. Hippos are not involved in any way, means or form. This is not some weird mis-spelling of the word "hypnotherapy". No, hippotherapy uses the characteristic movements of a horse to provide carefully-graded motor and sensory input to kids with disabilities. Simply being on or engaging with horses has remarkable therapeutic results. However, the 3 dimensional 4 point movement of the horse stimulates normal reflex and posture. In conjunction with a therapist alongside who knows how to optimise the experience and therapeutic effect, hippotherapy helps to normalise and bring down spastic and high tone episodes.
Hippotherapy Northumberland is founded and run by Angela Torsch, a recently-retired NHS local community paediatric physiotherapist from the area. She says of her area of specialty:
“The intention is to present this as an activity the child with disabilities can engage in and gain from, physically, emotionally, cognitively and relationally, and helps to encourage posture, strength and balance.
“For many, it is the first time they can engage in a leisure/recreational pursuit and it is a very special opportunity that raises the quality of life for children with even severe disabilities.
“It differs from, but can lead to Riding for Disabled, helping many who are not yet able to access this fantastic service.”
Founded in 2013, the club is going from strength to strength, and we're really happy to be supplying Hippotherapy Northumberland with hoodies. Angela sent us a shot of them in action.
In further good news, Angela tells me that Hippotherapy Northumberland has recently attained charitable status. They're now looking for sponsors to partner families, which will help to make access to hippotherapy an affordable option for kids who could really benefit from it. Their registered charity number is 1163434, if you want to help in any way.
If you want to know more about Hippotherapy Northumberland, your best bit is their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hippotherapy-Northumberland/376814322445071
Angela was supplied with Varsity Contrast Hoodies from the Just Hoods range by All We Do Is.