Hearts and Minds Hornsea Animals
Family Animal Experience
Our Background
Family Animal Experience
The most memorable experiences in my lifetime have been in the outdoor environment, amongst nature and alongside animals, sometimes alone but more often than not sharing these life-enhancing experiences with other people. As human beings we are deeply connected to other animals (including other humans) and to our natural world. The mutually beneficial relationships that we create with the world around us have the capacity to ground us, support us and enrich our lives. It is this feeling of connection that we seek to facilitate and nurture for those who visit us here at Goxhill Meadows.
Until September 2020 I spent 20 years as a primary school teacher and senior manager and have a demonstrated history of working successfully in the education and wider learning and personal development sector. Prior to teaching I worked with young people “at risk” and have held a variety of roles with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, the Princes’ Trust and several other charities focused on the personal development of young people from socially disadvantaged groups. Prior to this I completed a short service Commission in the Royal Air Force and was a member of the RAF Mountain Rescue Team, spending much of my free time in the mountains as a trained volunteer.
In September 2020 I made the decision to follow my lifelong dream to use my smallholding as a nurturing environment where I could combine my passions for the great outdoors, the restorative nature of animals and working with children, young people and adults. Since then I have enjoyed each and every day and have been privileged to experience:

- The smiles and laughter of families getting hands-on with our animals.
- The development and progress of pupils with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs.
- The freedom and enjoyment of children with Special Educational Needs and their families and carers as they can explore, free to express themselves.
- The sense of release of adults living with and beyond cancer when they connect with our horses and work with them as sentient partners.
Group Outdoor Activity
I believe that an organisation is only as good as its people (and animals!) All of our staff are qualified, experienced, have enhanced DBS checks and are fully up to date with safeguarding training. We hold First Aid and Mental First Aid training and have all relevant insurances plus required animal licences from the East Riding of Yorkshire Council. Our policies, risk assessments, qualifications and insurance/licences can be viewed either when you visit (on display) or copies may be requested. We are a trauma-informed and trauma-focused practice. All staff have participated in and are fully up-to-date with current thinking and practices in trauma and its impact on both children and adults.
My philosophy on learning is that it is never complete; it’s a lifelong process. In addition to being a qualified and experienced teacher and senior manager in education I have undertaken courses in animal assisted learning and therapy, equine facilitated learning and training around Adverse Childhood Experiences. I spent 2 years gaining an Ofqual-accredited level 6 diploma in Equine Facilitated Psychotraumatology and participate in ongoing Continuing Professional Development to continue my understanding of attachment, human trauma and neurodiversity. My fascination with the world of equines means that I am continuously challenging myself to learn more – through horsemanship, classical dressage training, liberty work and I still enjoy some relaxed competing and spending time out on long hacks with my beloved horses and ponies. I love meeting inspiring and like-minded people who share this passion to value horses for the highly sensitive and intelligent mammals that they are.
Team Member Photo
Family Animal Experience
Meet Ruth, my colleague!
Ruth was a teacher for more than 20 years in Hull and a SENCO for 10 years and has a great deal of experience of working with, and supporting, a range of neurodivergent children and their families and outside agencies.She loves working with young people and animals, linking animal interaction and behaviour to that of the young person, in order to help them understand themselves. Ruth has witnessed the profoundly positive effects animal interaction can have on children and young people which makes her job exceptionally rewarding.
Team Member Photo
Meet Sarah, The Newest Addition!
Sarah is a qualified veterinary nurse and has also worked as a teaching assistant, supporting children with SEND. She is the newest member of the Goxhill Meadows team and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with her. In addition to working with us she is a contract shepherdess and has her own flock of sheep, a miniature pony, 5 dogs and too many goats to count!
Goxhill Meadows Hornsea Animals