As part of our long-term community support and charity partnerships programme, we are delighted to announce our commitment to helping South Downs Equine Therapy Community Interest Company. Alongside volunteering and fundraising for a local food bank and homeless resource centre (The LifeHouse), easyNetworks’ staff will be volunteering at South Downs Equine Therapy CIC, extending our support from a one-off donation to improve community engagement and increase positivity within our teams.
Ria and her fellow directors at easyNetworks have committed to supporting the community by releasing staff during office hours to volunteer. Employees can choose between working with the LifeHouse or helping South Downs Equine Therapy Community Interest Company, and apprentices will also be taking part as it is part of their curriculum.
“We know that while our cash donation and food collections would be welcome at Christmas, to make a real difference, we need longer-term relationships with our charitable partners. Allowing staff to volunteer within work hours is good for the charities as it provides resources when they need them, and good for staff development as they are challenged to engage with the community, enhancing their communications and problem-solving skills.” Ria white on why she made the decision to allow staff to volunteer during office hours.”
The Project will not only benefit the mental health of the children but our hybrid staff who mostly work from home, collaborating on teams.
What is South Downs Equine Therapy CIC?
South Down Equine Therapy CIC is run by Alison Couzens, a qualified social worker and BHSAI (British Horse Society Assistant Instructor) riding instructor.
The project offers equine therapy, including riding for children with physical and/or learning disabilities, autism, cerebral palsy, those with special educational needs, high levels of anxiety, including non-school attendees and adults with learning disabilities.
Children with high anxiety levels usually spend most of their time within their home environment. Equine therapy takes them to a beautiful, rural location, reconnecting the child or young person with nature and allowing them to enjoy the freedom and peace of the isolated space.
Over time this rewarding experience will teach the client equestrian skills, but the main purpose of the project is to allow them to have a holistic equine experience and reconnect with nature.
This is a great opportunity for staff to bond outside of the office; many of our staff work remotely, so we encourage hybrid workers to volunteer alongside their colleagues to help maintain an office culture in a safe, outdoor, setting. The Project will not only benefit the mental health of the children but our hybrid staff who mostly work from home, collaborating on teams.
Digital Marketing Executive Bryony Copnall has been horsing around at South Downs Equine community interest centre, volunteering on behalf of easyNetworks. She commented on the company’s support within the community and how it can improve community engagement.
“Equine Therapy project is great for staff, increases our presence within the community and shows the company’s determination to invest in the city.”
Richard Gwilliam, Managing Director of easyNetworks who has also volunteered with South Downs Equine Therapy, also said:
“We are part of both the easy family of brands and the wider family of Portsmouth. Our company is rooted in the community in Portsmouth, and our investment in apprentices and trainees has always reflected that. As a successful local based business, we are now pleased to develop relationships with charities that directly benefit people living in the city.”
As volunteers, they help clear the stables, tend to the horse and support/monitor children whilst they ride the animals.