The end of another school year is nearly upon us and it is time for many of our learners to move on to the next stage in their life, hopefully with confidence, qualifications and transferable skills acquired through their time at The Seeds of Change.

Our learners generally come to us with no qualifications, disengaged from mainstream education and dealing with complex issues and conditions which restrict them from achieving their full potential. Our coaches and horses work with these young people to encourage them to open up, develop coping strategies and make positive changes in their lives. For some it is a long process, others relatively short, but we aim to give each learner the best chance possible of finding a way to navigate the challenges in life and achieve happiness and fulfilment.

During the lead up to the end of term we’ll be reporting on the experiences of some of our older (16-18yrs) learners as they prepare to move on from The Seeds of Change.

Annabelle’s* story (Yr 11)
“My time at The Seeds of Change has been difficult, sad and fun.  On my first day I had a great welcome by Rachel, Lisa (the coaches) and the other students on the course. I used to be very immature and I had a short temper and would flip out at the tiniest things and would head off down the road. I didn’t have a great relationship with the coaches and would repel any advice they would try to give.

Over time my relationship with the coaches became stronger and I started to warm up to them. I have become more mature and have a better outlook on life. I have reflected on the way my behaviour was, my anger has become less of a problem and I’ve started to reflect on the way I treat others because my coaches have helped me understand where I was going wrong.

The horses here are lovely, they have really helped me calm down and chill out. When I first started I worked with a horse called Chesney and he helped me open up towards the horses and has made me warm up towards other horses. When Chesney retired a horse called Noah came in and I fell in love with him. I’m still a bit unsteady with him but he’s helped me realise I have to be comfortable for him to feel safe.

I was working with a horse that I feel very unstable around called Rainbow. I will always have a fear that he will turn on me and will nip me or kick me. One of my coaches, Charlie, had gone inside the stable with him and I burst into tears because of my fear. She helped me overcome that fear and I managed to stand in the stable with him alone; I felt proud at that moment that I was able to do so.

Whilst being here The Seeds of Change has helped me learn how to open up to them and that has led me to be able to do that with other people away from The Seeds of Change. They’ve helped me with my anger and how to control it.

I’m grateful for being able to be a student at The Seeds of Change because without it god knows where I’d be today.

Annabelle has applied to begin an apprenticeship in retail and is looking forward to entering the world of work. We wish her and the rest of The Class of 2019 the best of luck with their new adventures.

*name changed for anonymity