To provide therapeutic support involving equines, small animals and the environment to enable each individual to thrive.
For everyone to have access to the therapeutic support they need in a safe, natural and non-judgemental setting to improve emotional, social, physical and mental wellbeing.
Person Centred Therapy
We pride ourselves on offering individual bespoke programmes, meeting the needs of Education Health Care Plans (EHCP’s) where necessary and using person centred planning. We have tools to measure engagement, emotional wellbeing and learning.
We remain focused and alert to the learning opportunity each participant offers us. We learn from everyone including clients, volunteers and others we help. This is how we have developed over the years; we can be reactive to the changing demands of our clients, be part of their story, create positive memories, offer dynamic improvements to accelerate achievements and help people take that all important next step in the recovery to independence.
We are not prescriptive in our approach but instead use information research and work with what we need in the moment, this is why having a multi-disciplinary team is fundamental to our work.
Working in the ‘Sweet Spot’
Our most successful outcomes are achieved when we work in the sweet spot that sits between our 4 core philosophies, using the foundation of relevant scientific research:
- Involving animals
- Encouraging movement and exercise
- Working in nature and the outdoors
- Developing healthy relationships
Conquest started its journey over 50 years ago (in 1965) when 3 people bought 2 ponies (Adam & Eve) to offer riding sessions to the disabled residents at Sandhill Park, a residential home near Bishops Lydeard in Somerset. The group went from strength to strength, quickly growing in popularity, and became an affiliated RDA Centre (Riding for the Disabled Association) in 1971. We moved to our current location (Conquest Farm) in 1995 and formed ‘Conquest Centre for Disabled Riders’ which became a Limited company in 2004. In 2015 we became an independent charity named ‘Conquest Centre’.
For the last 10 years we have been somewhat ‘in limbo’ due to our landlords’ planned retirement from farming and the younger generation taking over the farm thus forcing the need for us to relocate. We have been on a long journey, however are delighted to confirm that we are now able to stay at our current location (Conquest Farm near Norton Fitzwarren, Somerset).
STAYING AT CONQUEST FARM
Staying at our current location brings a different set of opportunities and challenges as we wish to improve and develop the site to really make it the centre our clients and animals need it to be. Thankfully, our new Landlords are enthusiastically engaged with the charity and supportive of our work. Plans are in motion with some improvements already completed; a new Coronavirus (COVID-19) appropriate reception, an improved office layout and the lower car park has been tarmacked which will make a significant difference to everyone visiting the site, particularly those confined to wheelchairs as the previous car park surface was rutted, uneven and quite steep in places.
AMBITIONS FOR THE FUTURE
The concept of therapy work with other *sentient beings, in a non-clinical environment, has become more mainstream in recent years. Conquest Centre aims to become a Centre of Excellence in this work, whilst demonstrating the most up to date creative methods and ethics in human well-being, animal husbandry and welfare.
By Centre of Excellence, we mean that we will always strive to be the best we can be; as individuals and as a team. We know we can’t always be excellent in everything, but we are ambitious. We will aim to be a shining light in our field; sharing our knowledge and setting standards that others aspire to and want to follow.
* sentient beings describes things that are alive and have senses; able to feel and perceive, show awareness or responsiveness. In our example: horses and small animals.