1 October 2023

NHS Lothian staff and patients take on 5K challenge to support therapeutic ponies at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital

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Staff and patients from William Fraser Centre and Islay Centre undertook a 5K walk to raise money for NHS Lothian Charity and help support therapeutic ponies for the Centres at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital.

They took on the challenge to raise money to support animal therapy, particularly involving ponies. There are many scientific benefits of animal therapy, including a positive impact on physical, psychological, and social health, as well as aiding with stimulation, communication and providing distraction as well as a form of relaxation. 

When asked about the impact of the challenge, Jesika Horakova, a member of staff who took part, said:

I believe it has a good impact on both physical and mental health. Patients were practising for couple of weeks prior to the 5K walk, working towards improving their fitness and looking forward to the event. The 5K walk was based along the canal, so patients and staff were surrounded by nature, and it is known that being in nature has a good impact on mental health too. Completing the walk and obtaining certificates also brings a sense of achievement and pride. We received positive feedback from patients and staff, some of them wishing to display their certificates on the wards, and looking forward to the therapeutic activity.”

When asked about advice for others who are thinking of taking on their own challenge, Jesika said:

Having a supportive team has definitely helped. This event would not have happened without big support from our OT team, giving guidance and help, colleagues, and NHS Lothian Charity. The work around organising such events is 100% worth it at the end! You can see the positive impact it makes to everyone involved.”

Thanks to generous supporters like the staff and patients from the William Fraser Centre and Islay Centre, NHS Lothian Charity is able to support therapeutic ponies in a number of wards across NHS Lothian.

Do you have an idea for a challenge?

Your fundraising can help transform lives for everyone in Edinburgh and the Lothians, so join our incredible #CharityChampions today!

Let us know what you’re doing and we’ll send you a free t-shirt, support you throughout your event and send you a well-deserved medal when you finish your challenge.

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