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Equine Gentling - healing horses, the land and humans

by Equine Gentling,

We would like to introduce Equine Gentling and the Harmony Community Farm Collaboration. We believe we would be an incredible asset to the Downland Estate, offering something truly unique.

Equine Gentling - Healing horses to heal humans and our land. A community herd of 14 horses committed to conservation grazing and being available to all who need us.

The Hope Charity Project - Supporting young people and their families suffering with mental health when they need us most.

Soul Food Brighton - A community cooking project using waste and home grown food to deliver meals to those who need us.

Holistic Veterinary Care - Complimentary veterinary care incorporating herbal remedies, homeopathy, acupuncture and nutrition.

We are proud to be member of the Brighton Downs Alliance.

We would love you to watch our presentation and comment with your support.

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Helen Clarke 3 months ago
This collaboration brings together essential elements of human and natural wellbeing. It is just what is needed and will be a real asset to the downs and the community. As a professional working with vulnerable people, I feel strongly that we need to make those connections between planetary and human health, physical  and emotional. These organisations can offer the experiences for people to join those dots. Being part of the herd is a truly special experience that could be made more accessible in this way. 
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jane mccalla 3 months ago
I support the Equine Gentling application because they would help to further your aims in several ways. Firstly in the natural management of the land. Secondly in raising peoples self esteem and improving peoples mental health by their interactions with the herd and the non judgemental way they are treated by  both Dan and the horses. Dan offers such a unique and valuable service to the community it would be great to see him get a permanent home for his herd and where he could reach more people in the community who would benefit from his help. His collaboration with Hope and Soul Food would appear to be the perfect combination. 
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Bigben123 3 months ago
This would benefit so many people. I have been aware of Dan's work with his horses through the passion my daughter feels for what he does and all from the goodness of his heart. He asks for nothing except for his herd to be well fed and cared for and his horses bring calm and happiness to many. The Hope Charity gives hope to young people when there is no hope left, where young people are encouraged to work with animals  as well as trained professionals and it works perfectly. The amalgamation of these charities would benefit local people and enhance the landscape, they need to be given the opportunity to grow and to continue to meet the needs of those who would benefit most. Soul Food will work extremely well alongside with their support of under privileged families, they are amazing as is Dan and his herd and The Hope Charity. Please give them this chance. 
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notsubutai 3 months ago
I’ve been aware of Equine Gentling for about a year now and have seen first hand through my family the benefits that being a member of the Herd brings. Also for me just seeing a herd of horses ‘running’ wild is a beautiful experience. I strongly support any initiative that allows Equine Gentling to grow and thus reach more people, even more so with the other people that are part of the Harmony Community Farm Collaboration.

As a planning professional and someone with a passion for nature I see the benefits that conservation grazing could bring to open landscapes. The forthcoming Environment Bill will set all kinds of targets for nature conservation & improving biodiversity and so I would suggest that any project that seeks to achieve some of these objectives whilst also benefiting parts of the community that are in need of support should be welcomed. The act of re-introducing horses to the landscape also reminds me of cases elsewhere in both the UK and the World where it has been proven that reintroducing species to the landscape has had a benefit to biodiversity and the environment.

I also feel that the project would accord with the Government’s statutory purposes and duty for National Parks by conserving/enhancing natural beauty & wildlife, promoting opportunities for the public to understand & enjoy the landscape of the Park and fostering the social & economic wellbeing of communities within/around the Park.
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LizB 3 months ago
I would wholeheartedly support the EquineGentling application. The project is full of heart and promotes the simple and far reaching qualities of kindness and respect. What more could we want to give a home to in our beautiful downland landscape?
Liz
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Snoopet 3 months ago
This is such a fantasic idea and could benefit so many people in our city. Its refreshing to see a holistic approach to our wellbeing through food and connecting with the nature around us. I really hope this dream bevomes a reality
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Woods 3 months ago
What an incredible thing it would be to home these much needed and beautiful charities. Together they seem to encompass everything Brighton stands for, love, nature, respect and inclusion. What Dan has done is so unique and this collaboration could truely help many, and be a source of pride for Brighton.
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C Sparrow 3 months ago
I am the founder of the Hope Charity Project (Registered charity no. 1190188). We provide emotional support & guidance for young people struggling with Mental Health symptoms & their families who are struggling at home & are close to or in crisis. With ever lengthening waiting lists for public health support we set up this charity to provide instant accessible support networks for young people aged between 10 - 21 & extend this support to their families. We see young people every day who face emotional challenges from  bullying, bereavement, gender dysmorphia, eating disorders, personality disorders, LGBTQ+, ASD & OCD etc.. This can lead to depression, self harm, anxiety, anger, insomnia & sadly more commonly now suicidal thoughts. This collaboration vision of ‘Harmony Community Farm’ would give us the opportunity to recreate land space (Like we had before, before it got taken from us to be developed for housing) & to be able to again provide our wide range of therapies and reach out to a greater number of families who desperately need us. Alongside traditional counselling sessions we offer many creative ways for our young people to approach their healing such as photography, painting & poetry. Family sessions that incorporate gardening, agriculture, foraging, meditation, & a diversity of animal interaction, which would all be possible in the incredible setting of the South Downs National Park. The outdoors is widely recognised as a place to heal and build confidence. We hope to use the natural setting to incorporate sensory experiences whilst learning about the natural environment, wildlife conservation and bee keeping. The power of nature is the best natural therapy any human could benefit from. HOPE Charity is a place of Sanctuary ,to be heard,, comforted,  to feel grounded & alive with the healing beauty & purity of our natural countryside. Working alongside Dan over the last few years has been a joy & so beneficial to our causes, supporting each other & being so compatible with the rehabilitation & community care that we both love & provide. Complimenting that perfectly is the inspiring Ingrid 'Soul foods' and our very own holistic vet Charlotte, that brings this collaboration together like the perfect hug.
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Catherine 3 months ago
I’ve only recently heard about the wonderful work Dan does. He puts his heart  and soul into his work and cares deeply about the horses and their welfare whilst engaging young people who might benefit from spending time with the Equine Gentling Family
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simon.wibberley 3 months ago
Ingrid of Soul Food Brighton has an exemplary record for creating truly diverse and inclusive food projects, from working with underprivileged children and refugees, to restaurants, weddings, festivals, and community outreach kitchens. Her interests in nutrition and world food culture are borne out in her passion for feeding people healthy and exciting meals. She routinely introduces her diners to not only great food but new ways of positively engaging with their own eating habits. As such, Soul Food is an ideal complement to the therapeutic aims of both The Hope Charity Project and Equine Gentling, and I have no doubt that working together under this collaboration will propel all of them to new height of achievement.

Dan's depth of understanding of horse ecology and psychology, and his shear dedication to them, makes Equine Gentling what it is – a profound and mutually beneficial venture for the coexistence of humans and horses. By creating a space for horses to heal and grow from often traumatic histories, people with their own various backgrounds have the opportunity to be a part of that journey – both rebuilding the horses' confidence in people, and peoples' confidence in themselves, possibly to undertake a similar path, or simply for a moments peace with nature.
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dilavardar 3 months ago
What a lovely project, i have dealt with Sould food brighton crew before, delicious food, lovely crew and an amazing project all around
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Morph_8 3 months ago
This is such a great project, I have seen the positive effect these horses can have on children is just amazing 
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Stephen Williams 3 months ago
As a long term collaborator with Ingrid & the SoulFood project I can wholeheartedly vouch for the positive impact I've seen it have with the school children and refugees we have worked with. The opportunity for this therapeutic collaboration  to take place in the natural surroundings along with Dan and the wonderful Equine Gentling herd will I have no doubt benefit the local surroundings and all those lucky enough to experience it.
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ingrid Alice wakeling 3 months ago
I am the founder and project lead of SoulFood as well as a long term member of the Equine Gentling family. Dan and the herd have made a huge positive impact on the lives of my family and community. As well as providing invaluable time in natural surroundings and bonding with the beautiful herd, Equine Gentling is a therapeutic space - offering an incredible value mental health resource to children and adults alike. Dan and I have spoken for some time about working together and the option of creating a permanent home for the herd whilst building a countryside kitchen that works with and for the land is a hugely exciting opportunity. SoulFood works with disadvantaged groups across the city, creating safe and delicious opportunities for families, youth groups, refugee groups and women's organisations amongst many others. We work mainly with surplus food, keeping our costs low and our food seasonal. We work closely with foragers and growers to make the most of the richness of the Sussex Downs, woods and coastal areas. Our combined vision would create a truly unique project - a safe space that offers therapeutic care, wellbeing workshops and a real connection to the land for the groups within our society that need it the most. 
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joannawoods 3 months ago
I have the utmost admiration to all those within the Equine Gentling family, the positives they provide within their community and the community at large are of an especially unique importance.
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DanCorbin 3 months ago
I am incredibly proud to be the owner and founder of Equine Gentling. Our ethos is simple, we welcome rescue horses and allow them to live a natural life in a grazing herd whilst using the amazing bond that exists between horses and humans to heal those that need us. We are currently inhabiting a 60 acre section of the South Downs National Park just outside Henfield with 14 rescue horses. At present we are able to offer one to one equine healing to our local community. Outside of lockdown we have regular visits from children and young adults with social, behavioural, emotional and learning difficulties. We also work with health care referrals, youth reform organisations, alternative learning providers, displaced and disadvantaged families. We are a safe space for people to learn how to rebuild trust, forge relationships and reconnect. We need our project to expand so we can reach more people and begin to offer recognised education and to increase our volunteering opportunities. We need shelter and buildings so we can develop our group work with education providers and community groups, teaching communal skills, reliance and trust. We operate a stocking density of 1 horse per 3/4 acres. This prevents over grazing and allows for all the benefits of conservation grazing. Horses are an excellent choice for chalk grassland. Their natural inclination to seek out nutrition from growth other than grass means they keep the invasive gorse, braken, thickets, bushes and trees at bay allowing the fine chalk grassland wild flowers to flourish. This in turn aids ecological rewilding boosting the population of butterflies, insects and bees. Our horses love hawthorn berries, young trees, thistle buds and have even been known to strip off bark. Horse manure that our maintained stocking density produces is at a level that the land can handle without clearing. Dung piles provide habitats for invertebrates and micro-fauna as well as producing micro organisms that improve soil structure and biological activity. I am privileged to be able to propose a collaboration of projects. Together we would be able to open the South Downs up to a vision of ecological restoration whilst offering unique support to our community’s most vulnerable people and their families.
Thank you all for your beautiful comments 🌱🌈🐴❤️🧔
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SarahWS 3 months ago
Equine Gentling - the name cannot capture the wonder of this.  There is such an air of hopefulness and healing, Dan and the herd embody all the qualities our broken world needs right now. To visit the herd is to be made  whole again and to step away from the screen and the stress and to enjoy feeling accepted under the sky and in the fresh air. This place so much more than is appears on paper and what it does is really rather amazing. Such a valuable group.  
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Josie Peach 3 months ago
Having known Dan and his wonderful work for a couple of years now, I wholeheartedly support this proposal and think that the collaboration sounds wonderful. Dan and his herd are great teachers and healers and to have Equine Gentling available to the local community would be so beneficial for many, many people. 
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Linda 3 months ago
Speaking purely with my knowledge of Dan and Equine Gentling, I can endorse others when they recommend this collaboration as being the perfect answer to satisfy the requirements to assist in yhe management of the Downland Estate. The work and personal sacrifices that have been made by Dan in order to develop and care for the herd, so that the herd in turn can bring their healing ways to many, many children and adults is without doubt, unquestionable in commitment. 
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Jo Welfare 3 months ago
This will be such an asset to the local community and environment. This collaboration with Equine Gentling will be held up as a beacon for the whole country on how to live sustainably and engage with all sections of the community. Dan has such love, care and knowledge, he is truly wonderful to be around. The world needs more kindness after what we have all been through for the last year.
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Deborah 3 months ago
It is almost impossible to digest the impact Dan has clearly had on so many people’s lives. Young and not so young! He must be a lifeline to all those who are struggling in so many ways, especially in current times. The nation’s communities needs a Dan. Urgently. 
The devotion he has shown towards all his family of horses, all taken under his wing, all needing rescue, love and care. He’s done it all. It is profoundly moving, and whilst I am now living in the north, I feel honoured to continue supporting Dan and I cannot imagine a more worthy gift for the Downland Estate and its welfare, than Dan’s Equine Gentling and its collaborative organisation. 
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hcl703@hotmail.com 3 months ago
Dans compassion for horses, mental health and the environment is truly amazing! And in a world where we need compassion and understanding i would love to see the equine gentling herd  4 legged and two have a permanent place to grow and thrive
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Suzie Bright 3 months ago
Equine Gentling is a "community herd" which welcomes everyone to come and spend time with horses in their natural environment. The ethos at the centre of the project is COMPASSION for all life. The Founder, Dan, provides education on how to understand horses, and talks about what horses need in order to be healthy. 

By visiting the project, we can learn to communicate with horses. As trust grows we can interact with them them, develop relationships with them, and experience joyful emotional connection. 

Visiting the project gives us a reason to get outside and connect with nature. We can instantly notice the difference this makes to our mental health.

Equine Gentling is medicine for the healing soul.

This is an informal mental health recovery project, and everyone is welcome.

It would be a precious asset to the Brighton and Hove community (and surrounding communities) if Equine Gentling were to be given a permanent home in the Downland Estate.
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NickGallie 3 months ago
Dan's  love for his horses, for the human community he has built around him and for the the natural world upon which the entire enterprise depends, is whole hearted and utterly genuine. Dan has two watchwords that define his approach to the healing and caring work that goes on at Equine Gentling. These are 'consent' and 'kindness'. Nothing happens with respect to a herd member, be it horse or human (Dan takes the idea of symbiosis seriously) without their consent and without that action being an expression of kindness, This is rare indeed and it creates a truly inspiring environment where anyone who is touched by it can only wonder what would it be like if this approach to the creation of common wellbeing among people and animals was the rule rather than the exception it is today.
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Karenef 3 months ago
In my experience  working with horses and people with a variety of needs I am confident that this project provides a valuable service and resource. And the proposal is an exciting opportunity for a holistic, symbiotic way forward for our environment and our community. 
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Larayne 3 months ago
I have been part of EquineGentling for three years working with oils and plant materials on a animal self selection and self medication basis. I have see the herd thrive where there is a diversity of plant life to forage; the South Downs is perfect for this symbiotic relationship between the plant and animal kingdom and encourages biodiversity. Then there is the huge difference the herd has made to many kids with mental health challenges, this is also a beautiful symbiotic relationship between the horses (all rescued) and vunerable kids who just thrive together in a safe and nurturing environment. It would be fantastic to have somewhere permanent to grow and expand; the community herd is for everyone and a fantastic asset to the environment and the wider community as a whole. Dan puts his heart, body and soul into the wellbeing of the horse and human herd and I have the utmost admiration and respect for all that he selflessly does for bringing the community together in this loving and inspirational way. <3
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julie day54 3 months ago
This is an absolutely wonderful collaboration. There are so many positives!! It would be a fabulous asset to this community and an ecologically sound use of the Downland Estate. Equine Gentling offers something new and inspiring to this area it is known  that this can help young & old to make sense of the world we live in by being at one with the horses ... good luck Dan & all that are involved ( may be bias as Dan is my son but I’m so proud of him & the things he is working so hard to achieve to help other people ♥️ )
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Karen grey 3 months ago
What a wonderful collaboration these organisations present. Their presence will enhance the environment and ensure the protection and healing of animal and humans. Bringing authenticity to the land, enabling  the people to self facilitate and heal in a place that will only promote this. The hope Chairty project supporting family’s all over West Sussex. 
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Eva 3 months ago
Equine Genteling is amazing charity which helped me a lot with all the kindness,
My son loves to be part of the herd, he is building up his confidence and can actually enjoy being in herd and see hierarchy of the herd which is in this days difficult to see. As Monty Roberts student I love the way of interaction between horses and humans which can help a lot of family, children and all the people. 
Horses as a herd are best for land boosting they did always great gob for many million years and I think we should allow it to be back again.
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Sallyrannie 3 months ago
What a wonderful proposal! I have seen how the Equine Gentling team have had an amazing calming effect on children, especially those with special needs. They need facilities to extend their work, and paired with the other organisations, it would be perfect. Also a massive boost for biodiversity on the Downs. I hope they are successful!
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Kate 3 months ago
A collaboration like this could reach out to such a wide range of people from the local community and would be an invaluable resource. Mental health services are already over stretched and the need for this will surely be on the rise following the pandemic. What an amazing way to make use of the land. In addition to the obvious human benefits, there would be advantages to having the herd grazing the landscape too, providing a sustainable method of maintaining the area through conservation grazing. I love everything about this proposal and I really hope that it can come to fruition, how lucky we are that they have considered this area to base themselves. Good Luck!
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Nquirkle 3 months ago
What a wonderful collaboration these organisations present. Their presence will enhance the environment and ensure the protection and healing of animal and humans. I can’t envision a better use of this land. 
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Craig 3 months ago
A fantastic supportive service which is  inclusive & nurturing. It would be an excellent use of currently unused land boosting biodiversity & ecology within the local environment. It would provide valuable education, an inspirational centre of excellence and very much needed mental health support. All the best to Dan & the team. Jenna, Helen & Craig 
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Sharon Clifton 3 months ago
This collaboration of these wonderful projects would benefit all.  As a Brighton based Psychotherapist who works in nature and with horses, I am aware of the need and impact such an incredible community based project would create.  Let's make it happen please.
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Angharad Hughes 3 months ago
Equine Gentling is a project close to my heart. Some years ago I trained in equine assisted therapy and worked with miniature horses with children on the autistic spectrum and their families. I came to see how young people can grow into their full potential through building connections with horses and ponies. The Equine Gentling project takes the therapeutic benefits of horses and adds conservation and wildlife to the mix. They are a truly wonderful organisation and have so much to offer to the community.
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Josie Orams 3 months ago
This is an absolutely wonderful collaboration. There are so many positives!! It would be a fabulous asset to our community and an ecologically sound use of the Downland Estate. Equine Gentling offers something new and unique to our area. I would love to see this happen! 
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debbie spellman 3 months ago
Sally and I have run Drama Queens in Brighton for the past 17 years.  We have close links with the Hope Charity Project who are such advocates of mental health in children and young adults.  It is so evident that what they provide is a safe space to breathe.  Learning about this project gives us even more joy knowing that they are trying to reach out to even more children and families in need of respite and life-changing moments.   We work with a lot of young adults and children facilitating a creative and emotional outlet through drama, singing, or dance, and it's not as you would think.  A lot of children need an expressive or emotional outlet it's more often than not about performing it's more about feeling and expressing.  The mental health struggles that come with growing up, dynamics from outside influences have a big impact.   To think that this idea for a place to visit and bring this breathing space to so many more people and families who perhaps cant go down other routes is just such a wonderful plan and it gives yet another outlet giving help and tools and hope for a fulfilled life without anxiety and fear.  We 100% back this idea and really hope this project takes flight as it should. 
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Claire Sherman 3 months ago
What an exciting and beautiful prospect to have all that great care and positive energy together in one place. This Harmonious collaboration would be such a life line and inspiration for so many people of all ages. We would be so lucky to have such a brilliant and much needed facility in our area. It's a no brainer for me...They seem to tick every box. Wish they were there already!
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Gina 3 months ago
What a wonderful synchrony of services, coming together to support recovery, rebuild community and communication and with do much to teach, just by existing and combining skills and resources. Good luck to you all. 
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emeraldbunny 3 months ago
After taking my partner for their Covid vaccination this morning, I walked through the virtually empty streets of Brighton. I reflected on what life looks like right here, right now. And my thoughts were, what must this world look like to the very young, right here, right now? My thoughts turned to a family member's continuous struggle with mental health and the lack of help and availability of support they had to endure throughout their school life and beyond. And now in an even more upside-down world, their continuous struggle with fear and disconnection. The Hope Charity Project, coupled with access to animal therapy and the collaboration with food provision to a wider community is for me a beacon I want to see on the Downs. A beacon of Hope for young people who struggle with making sense of this world. Giving young people a chance to see the world as it can be, is my hope for the future.
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eve mogridge 3 months ago
Dan and the herd are an amazing addition to the natural area. A real chance to see real horses living naturally as a herd together. The work he does with the children in the community is outstanding. So much care and attention. I’d love to see this project grow and become accessible to many more people and horses alike. Well done Dan
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Samreen 3 months ago
The Hope Charity Project, Equine Gentling, Soul Food Brighton & Holistic Veterinary Care proposal is one of hope that draws upon intuitive and traditional techniques to heal and help communities to thrive.
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CatherineM 3 months ago
The ethos of Equine Gentling and Hope are more relevant than ever. Equine Gentling provide a much needed, kinder and informed approach towards horses and educating people the relationship horses and human as equal, sentient beings can have.  Support for children's mental health is so stretched and needed more than ever. These charities would be a wonderful fit with Brighton and great partners with Soul Food and Holistic Veterinary Care.  Please support this bid.
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Jackie Bass 3 months ago
As a supporter of Equine Gentling I’m excited by the prospect of the group becoming part of the Downland Estate. Having this wonderful community herd of rescue horses on the Downs would benefit the environment as horse grazing is a less aggressive grassland management method than some others. The group’s founder, Dan, is enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge, not just of horse behaviour, but of the wider environment surrounding the herd. This was reflected recently in him being awarded the Animal Welfare Award in BBC Radio Sussex’s 2020 Make a Difference Heroes Award. Equine Gentling has brought so much positivity into the lives of the two legged herd members as well as the four legged. I believe the group, in conjunction with The Hope Charity Project developing a community farm on the Downland Estate would be a fantastic valuable asset to the local area. 
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AmberB 3 months ago
The Hope Charity Project, Equine Gentling, Soul Food Brighton & Holistic Veterinary Care all have such a beautiful message and are well needed charities for the community in current times. It would be incredible for the surrounding community, for vulnerable young people and families. It would see both a huge impact on the environment in which it is placed and the people that would be able to visit. 
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Author Commented Equine Gentling 3 months ago
I have been visiting Equine Gentling with my daughter for over a year now and am now an active part of this project. It is incredible to witness horses in their natural environment and as a herd. I have learnt so much about the ecological benefits of horse grazing as well as the benefits to people spending time with them. It would be incredible to have a community farm on the downlands estate that offers the most vulnerable members of our community somewhere to spend time, learn, volunteer and work. The collaboration between these projects would see a huge environmental and human benefit. 
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Lydia 3 months ago
What can I say about these two charities? Absolutely fabulous! Sussex is very lucky to have charities that are so passionate to look after children's mental health which will be even more important than ever after the coronavirus pandemic. I wish these charities had been around when I was young person, maybe I wouldn't have developed the long term mental health conditions I still have now as an adult. There is literally no support for children suffering with mild to moderate mental health issues, CAMHS (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service) is overstretched and underfunded and so many child are simply 'forgotton' leaving them and there families to suffer in silence. HOPE charity project provides support and advice for young people, their siblings and their parents  through art therapy, counselling, group counselling sessions etc whilst equine gentling help heal horses whilst healing young people through the extraordinary power of equine therapy. There is nothing like the gentle soul of a horse to help build a connection in a world where many young people with mental health issues feel they are alone and don't 'fit it'. These charities need a permanent base to keep their fantastic work going and to ensure they can continue to help young people long into the future! Although I am not from Sussex I think this collaboration is a brilliant idea that will benefit the whole community. 
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Victoria Lamont 3 months ago
I have been part of the Equine Gentling Community herd and the Hope Charity project for over 5 years.  Where do I start?  Firstly, Equine Gentling's passion about biodiversity has definitely had a positive impact on my family! I have come to realise how rich our own native habitats are and how important it is to preserve and nurture it.  This knowledge has enabled me to pass it on to my 2 girls and think about how we can make changes to the way we think about our landscape and our own garden! Secondly the herd, such beautiful creatures, each with their own story.  These horses are a real inspiration for my 11 year old in terms of confidence and acceptance.  Having the privilege of building friendships with the herd in their natural environment has taught us so much and has been a real lifeline. I love it that each of my girls built a connection with a different horse, developing a relationship built on trust and kindness. The Hope Charity Project has also been invaluable for my 11 year old.  providing dance therapy to build self esteem and confidence.   The community aspect of the Hope charity project is the foundation to its success, providing much needed guidance, support and hope for families through their darkest moments.   Mental health in our young generation is a growing concern, and the Hope Charity Project tackle it by providing a platform to be heard and understood. Combing these charities would be an invaluable resource for our community and I hope this receives serious consideration!
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