A video of The Ireland Fund’s visit to Horses For People to discover a programme created for Cooperation Ireland and Ardoyne Youth Club.
CATCH (Challenging Attitudes, Changing Horizons) is one of the many impactful community development and peacebuilding initiatives organised by Co-operation Ireland. It works with youth in North Belfast & Lurgan to develop a positive sense of identity, cross-community contact and mutual understanding. As part of CATCH they attend Horses for People to enhance that sense of cohesion and understanding.
In a safe and peaceful environment, we highlight how capable you are and challenge negative perceptions so that you can move forward using the awareness gained in the programmes.
The emphasis is on recognising your strengths and developing your own identity so that you can make good decisions and choices in life. We investigate the importance of setting clear boundaries in relationships and illustrate that the most effective form of power is gentle but assertive rather than aggressive.
The approach came from our work with veteran organisations where there was a requirement to develop techniques to react appropriately to challenges, let go of anxiety and move forward with calmness and awareness. Or, as horses do in the wild, go back to grazing.
This approach has been so successful that we have broadened it to a wider audience who have current issues whether it is overcoming trauma, relationship or communications problems or simply wish to develop more effective life skills.
Our safe and gentle approach enables individuals or groups to work with our horses to develop techniques to help them make positive progress in life.