Funding boost for Borders Stable Life Project

A BORDERS project that uses horses to give vulnerable young people a new direction in life has been given a funding boost of nearly £7,000 by the Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland to meet a cash shortfall.

A grant of £6,942 has closed a funding gap faced by the Stable Life Project, which is run by Galashiels and Duns-based Giving Young People (GYP) Borders.

Funding was already in place from BBC Children in Need, Leader+, Wider Role and Scottish Borders Council, but now the final piece of the cash jigsaw has been provided for the project by independent grant-making organisation the Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland.

Mary Craig OBE, the Foundation’s chief executive, said: “I am delighted that we have been able provide the money this project needed.

“GYP Borders has over 25 years’ experience in supporting disadvantaged young people and the Stable Life Project appears to be an effective tool in improving behavioural issues which could have a positive long-term impact on a young person’s life.”

The latest grant takes the amount of money that the charity has received over the years to nearly £75,000.

GYP Borders’ Stable Life Project, which is run from four centres throughout the Borders, involves weekly one-to-one or group sessions in which horses or the environment are used in therapeutic teaching to help young people learn new skills, increase their self-confidence and improve their discipline.

Stable Life will offer referred young people the opportunity to participate in a programme of therapy sessions with horses, designed to result in positive and sustained attitude change.

Evaluation and feedback from previous years have shown that 49 per cent of the young people who have been on the project have re-engaged with school, 78 per cent have shown improved behaviour with their families and 43 per cent who were identified as being isolated are now engaging with their communities.

Over the next year the project will work with 82 young people, who are referred by social work and education services, police, the NHS or other voluntary groups.

Marion McIlwraith, GYP Borders’ operations manager, said: “It is absolutely fantastic. Without financial input such as this we would struggle to maintain the Stable Life project.”

In addition to Stable Life, GYP Borders operates Chance 4 Change, a befriending project for disadvantaged young people, and Berwickshire Mentoring Services, which provides one-to-one mentoring and group work involving whole families.

Charities that would like more information about applying to the Foundation for an award should contact Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland on 0131 444 4020.