Service users from Newhaven ward have paid a touching artistic tribute in memory of a friendly four-legged favourite, Zach the horse.
Three service users from Newhaven, a unit for men with learning disabilities in Wakefield, had been attending Wakefield Riding for the Disabled Association as volunteers for almost a year. They worked closely with horse Zach, and were left upset and confused when he unfortunately passed away.
They decided to remember Zach by painting a picture of him, which they then gifted to Wakefield Riding for the Disabled Association.
Alice Wood, an occupational therapy assistant on Newhaven, said: “In the time they have been volunteering at Wakefield Riding for the Disabled Association, our service users have gained great trust and bonds with the horses when caring for them. They’ve seen the benefits of working outdoors and the positive impact animals can have on your mental health. They also found a love for horses they never knew they had, and the sessions have become the highlight of their week.”
Since starting their volunteering with the riding association, the service users have gained knowledge and experience of working with horses, and have gone on to achieve an animal care qualification.
Alice continued: “When we gifted the painting to the riding association, they were overwhelmed with emotion and so grateful for the kindness and hard work of our service users. Seeing the reaction to their artwork has given our service users a huge sense of achievement and turned a sad situation into something to be proud of.”