• Creating a Community Where Everyone Belongs

Trashion Show 2022 at Stable Door Cafe

Friday October 21, 7.30pm

Who’s up for a fantastic clothes swapping night at Stable Door Cafe? Bring 3 items of clothing you’ve grown tired of, and swap them with another three you like the look of! 

Actually, don’t stop at 3 – bring as many as you like and we can recycle the rest. 

Shoes, handbags and fascinators are also welcome – we advise you to bring anything in advance of the night to our collection point, where we can then process everything ready to show it off!

Our bar will be open, there’ll be a raffle and entertainment throughout the evening. 

Tickets are just £5 per person, including delicious nibbles from Stable Door Cafe. 

It’s going to be a fantastic night, so make sure you book now by calling 01257 472900

How having tea with a pony changed lives this summer 

How having tea with a pony changed lives this summer 

When we started our Tea With A Pony sessions in May, the idea was simple. We wanted to adapt the Riding for the Disabled Association’s Tea With A Pony scheme – a meaningful activity to help those living with dementia to enjoy time in an equine environment – to meet the specific needs and skills of our community. We could never have imagined the impact it has had in such a short space of time.  

As one carer said: “It seems to have helped her memory, I’m not sure how, but it has, and, more than anything, it’s been like a light has turned back on again. It’s the warmth of an animal, an animal that trusts you – the present fades away and it takes her back to just warm memories.”  

We’d already done some pre-pandemic work with an organisation called Community Circles to invite residential care homes and nursing homes to My Life so they could experience what we do. So when it came to Tea with a Pony, we were really excited to welcome people with dementia into Thompson House Equestrian Centre, give them a cup of tea and watch the horses being led around the arena. Once they’d watched the display, we’d bring the horses to them so they could stroke them, spend time with them and hopefully unlock memories and experiences.  

What’s made My Life’s Tea with a Pony sessions so special – and important – is that the people leading the horses were our My Life Learning students taking part in equine studies, and our members in My Life Opportunities enjoying their bespoke equine programme. We’d done a lot of preparatory work with these groups of people so they would not only be competent at leading the ponies but also confident in directing them in a display.  

Our students and members therefore had the opportunity to give something back to their community – and the results were spectacular. There was something incredibly powerful at work when they brought over the ponies – all of a sudden young people were interacting with old, the common bond of the horse sparking off incredible conversations and encouraging the kind of meaningful engagement that is so important for both groups of people.  

Such experiences led a couple of the students from My Life Learning to think about what they might want to do after college. One person in particular began to consider how they might work with older people in a care setting, and we’ll certainly be using our connections to suggest that idea is followed up with some work experience.  

So from a simple cup of tea with a pony, numerous doors begin to open for everyone, doors that we want to lead people through to a meaningful future. And opportunities for My Life to grow too – we have begun some work with people with dementia, and as a result of this Tea with a Pony series of events, we’ve struck up a quite incredible relationship with Linda. 

Linda’s Lessons 

Linda has owned horses all her life. When her last one passed away earlier this year, it was telling that her dementia began to have a significant effect on her quality of life. It was as if the horse had given her a purpose, a firm rooting in life. So when she was introduced to us, we began with some   gentle grooming, although it was pretty evident that she just wanted to ride!  

Once she got on and we began the lesson something quite amazing happened. It was like a switch had gone on and she could just ride. And not just ride, trot! The positivity that comes with riding is a true joy for Linda – and wonderful for us to be able to facilitate.  

Once the lesson is over, she’ll talk about the horses she’s had and dig out old photographs she’s taken. Meanwhile her husband is sitting with his friends, watching, but getting a much-needed break.  

“Well done Linda and to all at Thompson House Equestrian Centre who help Linda” 

It’s important to note that our young people are also leading these lessons, developing a relationship with Linda themselves and also gaining an understanding of dementia. It arms them with the skills they might need to approach the condition in their own family environments, as well as the confidence to consider how they might use the skills they’ve learnt in a suitable career. 

“Wonderful, and so are all those young people helping make this happen for Linda.” 

Sometimes, people ask us how the experiences we offer make an impact. We think Tea with a Pony is our mission to work in a person-centred way with people of all ages who may need support in action; from a nice idea we are able to give people skills, confidence, a meaningful activity and connections with their community.  

As we always say, these sessions allow people to think about what matters, rather than be constantly asked “what’s the matter.”  

If your organisation would like to enquire about booking a Tea With A Pony session, please e-mail us on infomy-life.org.uk or call 01257 472900


Own A Pony For A Day

Own A Pony For A Day

We’ve just made some more places available for our popular ‘Own a Pony for a Day Experience’ for adults looking for some much-needed me time at Thompson House Equestrian Centre over the summer.

⭐ Learn grooming, preparing feeds, tacking up, mucking out
🐴 Optional riding lesson included
⭐ Spend some quality time with your pony
🐴 Start to build a warm, positive relationship with them
⭐ Meander through our beautiful fields and tracks
🐴 Work as a team building friendships and connections with others
⭐ Includes a delicious lunch from The Stable Door Cafe & Ice Cream Parlour

Do something just for you. Places now available on Aug 7 & 14th, Sept 4 or 10th. Book on 01257 472900 or e-mail info@my-life.org.uk

Takes place at Thompson House Equestrian Centre, off Pepper Lane, Standish, Wigan, WN6 0PP. Fully licensed riding establishment: Licence AAL0128.

Want a rewarding job? We’re recruiting support workers in Barnoldswick!

Work in the Barnoldswick area? Want an exciting and rewarding career that takes you places?

My Life is a charity providing individualised support to a wide range of people in the East Lancashire area. We’re seeking an exceptional support worker to work alongside our team of registered nurses providing personalised support to a young man with complex needs. No experience necessary.

The benefits to you

“This is the most rewarding, satisfying job I’ve ever had.”

We’re offering you the opportunity to progress your career, become versed in autism, complex epilepsy, learning difficulties and sensory needs, as well as: 

  • An excellent salary – £11.02 per hour
  • Ongoing training and development
  • The opportunity to gain new qualifications

This is your chance to develop a wide range of skills, enabling him to live the best life possible. 

You’ll need to be empathetic, responsive to his needs, willing to learn and hold a driving license.

Find out more 7.00pm-8.30pm, Wednesday 30th March at Skipton Town Hall, The Hub, High Street, Skipton, BD23 1AH.

Book on 01942 233 422 or email hr@my-life.org.uk

Our Christmas and New Year holiday dates

Our Christmas and New Year holiday dates

A reminder of our Christmas and New Year holiday dates!

My Life Learning closes on Friday 17th December and will re-open on Wednesday 5th January. My Life Opportunities will close at 3pm on Friday 24th December and re-open on Wednesday 5th January. 

We’d like to wish you all a peaceful Christmas time and look forward to meeting up with everyone again in the new year!

A message from Caroline

Another year has flown by and although at the start of the year we were still impacted significantly by the pandemic, by the spring we were back on track.

Everyone returned to some kind of ordinariness, the summer was kind to us and more opportunities started to evolve. The My Life football team was born and we started to use Standish Leisure Centre for our practice sessions, we discovered some amazing artists who have been chosen to exhibit in Manchester art galleries, our Leigh team gained a new minibus, one of our first learners to leave My Life Learning gained employment, we hosted an amazing Halloween event and we have provided a lifeline for so many community groups who were unable to meet in their usual places. Despite the challenges we have continued to thrive and we are looking forward to our tenth year in 2022.

We have some exciting plans ahead to secure more space, which will be used to develop more meaningful opportunities for members and learners to get involved in making a difference through social enterprise. This will include the launch of ‘My Life Works’ at a new location, Harlor House, off Grove Lane in Standish.

Here, we will be developing a wide range of micro businesses, from up-cycling school uniforms to developing high quality products from recycled wood, upholstery and textiles, bike repairs and more. This is the next piece of the jigsaw as we prepare each person to be as independent as possible and enable everyone to make a contribution to the community.

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

We will also be opening our doors for a wide range of events and have some exciting opportunities lined up for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. As this will be our tenth year we will be celebrating in many ways and hope to have some exciting news to share in the new year.

Thank you so much for all your support over the last year. We wish you and your family a peaceful festive season and we look forward to an exciting year.

Caroline Tomlinson

Founder and CEO, My Life

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Registered charity number 1167858 - Registered office: Thompson House Equestrian Centre, Off Pepper Lane, Standish, Wigan, Lancashire, WN6 0PP

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