Come rain or shine

Rugby legend Iwan Tukalo, officially opened a new all-weather training area for Ponies Help Children in North Lanarkshire, to help transform the lives of children and young people in the region. Wooden Spoon Scotland donated £30,000, so the new facility, run by Heather Stephens and her team, can provide more therapeutic sessions.

Ponies Help children

The ponies have been rescued and carefully matched with the children. Eleven-year-old Patrick has been going to the centre for around five years, and Patrick’s mum Pauline tells us what the therapy ponies have done for them:

“We started with one-to one sessions with his pony, Toots. “It’s about building a relationship with that pony – the pony can sense how you feel. There is this connection on an emotional level with the pony.”

Pauline explained:

Patrick and Toots

Patrick and Toots

“Patrick finds difficulty with attachments, attention and behaviour. Knowing he can go for an hour a week to Ponies Help Children, and he can self-regulate, is amazing. “If he was really struggling, he would say, ‘Can I go and see Toots?’ And we would go up for a visit and that would be enough to settle him again. The ponies help the children learn to be more empathetic, and it is amazing to see how this relationship has grown over the years.”

Patrick now helps around the farm, broadening his skills and confidence.



If you would like to volunteer or fundraise for Wooden Spoon Scotland, please get in touch with your local Wooden Spoon committee on