Jane Forrest – The Pony Project

Jane Forrest from Kilmarnock started The Pony Project. Her social enterprise aims to improve the lives of disabled and disadvantaged children and adults through a combination of fun, education and therapy called Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL).

EFL has a myriad of benefits such as helping with building relationships, communication skills and confidence building.

The Pony Project is the first of its kind in Scotland. Jane is keen to highlight that it is not about horse riding. She says:

It is about working with ponies and horses to benefit children and adult and give them life skills.

Jane received a Start It Award in February 2016. She used the £4,000 funding to try and test her concept.

Her facility in East Ayrshire has five rescue ponies, two horses, and one donkey. Jane explains:

It is great for sensory reasons. A donkey smells differently from a pony. It also behaves differently and feels differently.

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She already provides a service to schools in Ayrshire and also offers some sensory trails in the woods.

With her diploma in Person Centered Approach to Social Care and a certificate in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning Training, Jane is well equipped to lead her social enterprise.

Jane spent some time with Brian, our Glasgow Just Enterprise business advisor, to work on her social enterprise’s cash flow and to give her the confidence to take better control of her business. She also attended a couple of free social enterprise workshops. Jane says:

Brian told me if there is anything I need to know, he is there at the end of the phone. It’s really good.

Jane has just received funding to buy new equipment. She is also beginning to work with Community PayBack, through which individuals will complete community service hours for the Pony Project.

Jane has also applied for funding through the Aviva Community Fund. You can vote for The Pony Project here.