Deeside charity nominated for animal partnership award

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Deeside charity HorseBack UK has been nominated for the prestigious award for helping members of the UK armed forces recover from mental and physical injuries.

The charity, based at Ferrar, Aboyne, was established to support injured service men and women whilst recovering from physical and mental trauma and has been nominated for the Soldiering On Animal Partnership Award 2017.

The Soldiering On Awards provide national recognition for the outstanding achievements of those who have served their country and individuals and groups who work together with the Armed Forces Community.

Its aim is to encourage support for the UK’s Armed Forces Community by nationally recognising the achievements of groups, individuals and organisations that support this community.

The Animal Partnership category award, sponsored by Pets at Home, recognises the special companionship and support provided by animal friends to members of the Armed Forces Community, as well as the achievements of individuals, groups or organisations that are involved in facilitating the access to such support.

Jock Hutchison, HorseBack UK co-founder and CEO, said: “It is a great honour to be recognised by The Soldiering On Awards and be shortlisted in the Animal Partnership nomination.

“We are dedicated to helping members of the Armed Forces Community re-discover hope and a sense of purpose after serious injuries and we recognise that our horses are an integral part of that process and the Animal Partnership award is all about their contribution.”

Now in its eighth year, HorseBack UK provides a three-week residential programme that follows three goals - community, purpose and empowerment, helping members of the Armed Forces develop confidence and self-esteem through western horsemanship and outdoor activities in the Scottish Highlands.

The charity has helped more than 500 veterans, 94 per cent of whom reported life improvements following courses with the charity, 17 per cent have gone on to full or part time employment and 11 per cent on to education.

Home to 30 horses, HorseBack UK takes on horses of diverse background - retired racehorses, rescue horses, polo ponies and an animal donated by HRH Prince Anne.

The Animal Partnership award will be presented to the finalist on March 24 at the Soldiering On Awards.

To vote visit: www.express.co.uk/animalaward.