Orewa Beach Primary School 

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A few months back I approached NSRDA and asked if there was space for 5 able-bodied boys going through major behaviour difficulties and very difficult traumatic family issues.

 

The brief I gave was for the boys to learn empathy, how to care for something other than themselves and to provide a safe environment to be brave and work together with an animal.

 

The response from Tim the President was incredible, he really listened and was happy to talk to the team and try to make this work for our boys. We were blown away at the response, NSRDA were going over and above in an already tight schedule to help our struggling boys.

 

I currently bring the group of 5 boys to the facility on a weekly basis. The boys favourite part of the week is their riding lessons and their behaviour has improved considerably this is hugely because of the care, understanding, patience and support the NSRDA team provide to the boys.

 

Three of the boys have had police support and been stood down from school, two of the boys have had significant trauma. I'm thrilled to report behaviour has since got increasingly better and more settled and all five boys are more engaged in learning since starting riding lessons. To watch one of my boys who is usually physically aggressive most of the time sneakily give his horse a kiss on the nose as he left last time was one of the best moments of my career to date.

 

We have watched these boys learning empathy, kindness and facing their fears. All these boys have been paired up with genuine, caring volunteers who work with them in a reassuring and warm way.

 

That NSRDA made space available in their busy programme for us to attend, supporting a local primary school, was incredible. The care and respect they give our children and the high skill level of the coaches brings so much joy to them and I know currently in lockdown the boys are missing coming!

 

Catherine Pascoe

Principal Orewa Beach Primary School