The Free Spirit Therapeutic Riding Association has been awarded a $90,000 grant for their SPIRIT program through the Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund (VFWF). The funding was recently announced at Rohan Wood Stables in Aylesford by the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence.
The SPIRIT Program is a collaboration between Clannad Counselling and Consulting Inc., the Free Spirit Therapeutic Riding Association, and Rohan Wood Stables. It will run over 18 months and be offered to retired or retiring military or RCMP female personnel living in the Central and Western regions of the province. The program is designed to equip women to approach healthy relationships through a new lens in a safe space. Through shared experiential learning with peers they will build their capacity to focus on their resiliency using a variety of therapies including equine-assisted psychotherapy as well as lunch and learn opportunities to explore new skills, including financial planning, women’s health, and caring for aging parents. Additionally, participants will explore eight alternative therapies using a variety of mediums including art, nature and music. The program wraps up with a weekend retreat for the women and their families celebrating their achievements over the course of the program.
“The transition from military life to life after service can prove to be difficult for some. These three organizations have developed new and innovative ways to support veterans going through this transition through unique projects like equine therapy, farming, and the arts. I commend them for the good work they’ve done so far and look forward to seeing the positive results this funding will bring veterans,” notes MacAulay.
Kody Blois, Member of Parliament for Kings, is excited to have the program in his riding: “Canada’s veterans have proudly served our nation and it’s our honour to recognize their dedication by providing the supports they need. Organizations like the Free Spirit Therapeutic Riding Association and the Veteran Farm Project Society play an important role in this work through the Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund. I am thrilled that they can help us help veterans.”