Register Interest / Attend A Course

The Joy Of Volunteering

File_000 (11)

National Volunteers Week has just come to an end and at HorseBack we have been thinking of the incredible volunteers who do so much to keep our show on the road.

We’ve been helping veterans for eleven years now and we have seen all the life-changing injuries – those in the body, and those in the mind. We are a small charity, and we rely hugely on the charity of others so that we can fulfil our mission. The volunteers are a huge part of that. They give something even more precious than money: they give us their time.

But it’s more than that. They give us their hearts. They love this cause just as much as we do, and they come here, in all weathers, no matter what is happening in their own lives, and offer everything they have to the men and women we put on the road to recovery.

The volunteers are, in many ways, the shining soul of HorseBack.

There’s more still. Volunteering has been shown to have an astonishing array of benefits. It can build confidence, give you an opportunity to learn new skills, increase a sense of happiness and well-being. There is evidence to show that it guards against depression. It gives you a community, and a feeling of belonging is vital to improved mental health. It’s the lovely old adage of: by giving, you shall receive.

We put all this to work as a formal part of our veterans’ programme. In the early days of the charity, veterans who had been through our courses would come back to volunteer on an ad hoc basis. At that time, this was a casual thing. Veterans would pitch up and mend fences, help with the horses, do a bit of building. (There was always building to do.) We noticed the profound benefits they took from this. It kept them in touch with the HorseBack family, gave them a sense of purpose, and prevented them from isolating.

So we instituted a new mentoring programme. The veterans who wanted to volunteer on a regular basis retrained as mentors and returned to HorseBack to help the new veterans arriving on the new courses. This was such a success that we extended it to our Youth Development Programme. And that proved to be the most glorious virtuous circle: the veterans loved helping the young people, and the young people loved having the veterans around them.

Everything connected, which is something that makes us deeply happy. It was, as the business people say, all upside. Everybody won, and there is nothing we love to see more than that.

The volunteers of these small islands may just have had a special week, but for us at HorseBack, every week is Volunteer Week. We cherish our volunteers, and we take our hats off to them. They do a job which is often unseen and unsung. They don’t get parades or red carpets. But they do that most important thing in human life: they make a difference. And for that, we salute them.

Follow Us


Recent Posts


We do not rely on government funding so any donations will greatly assist with the running of our charity.

We do not rely on government funding so any donations will greatly assist with the running of our charity.