Latest news from Spirit at Play

Lottery Community Funded

Latest press release from SpiritAtPlay


Community Foundation board

August, 2019

We are hoping to gain support locally at Asda where we feature on their Community Foundation board.

Local horses are helping local families
At Illston on the Hill there are five special horses that at were, one time, ill-treated but are now helping others. Thanks to the dedication of the centre owner, Judith Edwards, and her small team of committed volunteers, her horses are helping families to come together and improve their home relationships. Spirit At Play is the centre and their latest project is called Families United. Already this year 40 sessions have been held involving 39 children and 10 parents/carers. Sessions for nearly 40 more families and children are planned for the rest of the summer.

Finding out how to communicate with horses will teach you self-awareness and how to relate to humans too. It is amazing that horses can teach us how to find our own level of calm.

Judith explained, “All of the families are referred to us by a care worker, key worker or by a school. The idea is that when difficulties within the family have been identified we are part of a complete support package. We do not offer sessions to self-referrals”, she said.

We need to raise funds to enable us to keep the horses in good condition so that they can give to the children and families. We are appealing through the Asda Community scheme to get local support. PLEASE drop a token into the SpiritAtPlay box . Thank you.

Our funding appeal for 2019


March, 2019

We have made good progress over the last two years to build the SpiritAtPlay centre. We are now in need of adding a hard standing enclosure for use as an activity area where the horses and visitors will interact. The project will involve laying an all-weather surface for an outdoor ménage. Presently there are no such facilities on our site. The benefits of having this ménage are as follows:



  • Visitors have a safer environment in which to interact with the horses.
  • This area will enable us to run sessions all year round.
  • Allow us to support more people of all ages and abilities.
  • We can develop advanced natural horsemanship programmes and techniques.
  • Easier access for people with disabilities, as a safe, enclosed and dry surface.

We are now in need of adding a hard standing enclosure for use as an activity area where the horses and visitors will interact.

Judith Edwards SpiritAtPlay

The hardstanding area is going to be a rectangular arena approximately the size of a tennis court. Quotations from local suppliers are estimated to be about £5,000. We have not raised any funds towards this particular aspect of the project so far. However, now that we have been funded by the Big Lottery to run the Families United project, to the rural community of Leicestershire we need even more than ever to create the suitable arena in which to carry out the activities.

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