Willows Nook Joins Forces with Calderdale Organisations to Promote Wellness in Nature.

Willows Nook Equine Assisted Learning CIC is embarking on a new journey and is partnering up with other Calderdale organisations to encourage wellness in nature and boost self-esteem, confidence and work experience by using ponies, goats and the wonderful West Yorkshire countryside.

Willows Nook is all about discovering your true self and connecting with nature in a unique way that caters to both adults and young people’s well-being.

Through collaborative working and co-production with Calderdale mental health charities Invictus Wellbeing and Healthy Minds, Willows Nook has generated bespoke sessions catering to most individuals’ needs ranging from social isolation to learning and behavioural difficulties and mental health challenges.

Hilda and Oak, the wonderful ponies of the Nook along with Spud and Skipper, the two adorable pygmy goats are the stars of the show at Willows Nook and help out with the Equine/Animal Assisted Learning, allowing visitors to engage in their day-to-day lives.

Visitors are encouraged to learn about health and safety around the animals, as well as the roles, relationships and herd dynamics.

Horse handling, grooming and mucking out are also on the list of activities you can get up to, however, if you prefer a more relaxed day goat walking, foraging, gardening or arts and crafts are also on the list.

Willows Nook is also an EAQ (Equine Assisted Qualifications) approved centre and fully licensed through Calderdale Council, and can offer entry-level nationally-accredited qualifications in a range of subjects for those looking to improve their vocational skills.

Willows Nook, along with Invictus Wellbeing, initially met at the Strawberry Patch Network, the bimonthly member network run by Calderdale voluntary sector charity Voluntary and Community (VAC).

The Strawberry Patch is the perfect opportunity for VCSE organisations in Calderdale to support one another, find out about other local services and explore new collaborative opportunities and partnerships with fellow VAC members.

If you’re a local VCSE organisation in Calderdale or Kirklees and would like to know more about being a VAC Member please visit: https://www.cvac.org.uk/membership/

The willingness to work collaboratively across Calderdale is nothing but positive, allowing those who reach out for support at Willows Nook, Invictus or Healthy Minds the opportunity to be sign-posted to other services within the borough and gain well-rounded quality support that is even more suitable and effective.

Willows Nook is not just a place to connect with animals and nature; it’s a haven for personal growth and well-being.

Hilda, Oak, Spud, and Skipper, serve as invaluable companions on this journey towards self-discovery.

Willows Nook has something to offer everyone and is truly a place where nature, animals, and people come together in perfect harmony.

If you would like to learn more about Willows Nook and the services they offer, you can visit their website here, or alternatively, you can get in touch with Fran at fran@willowsnookequineassistedlearning.co.uk


Do you or your organisation have inspiring stories that need to be heard? If so, the Community Journalist is eager to listen and share your stories!

Contact Jordan at jordan.baker@cvac.org.uk