On Friday 12th May, Ascot was delighted to welcome the team from Just Around the Corner (JAC), a local charity based near Wokingham in Berkshire, set in 15 acres of stunning English countryside to our raceday. Founded in 1998, they are a unique centre providing personal learning and development therapies for children and young people. They are proud to have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services which is the highest award for volunteer groups.
Employing a blend of therapeutic models, including Equine Assisted Learning (EAL), they have helped enhance and inspire the lives of thousands of young people over the 25 years since the charity began, through their unique blend of activities. Whilst offering a range of hands-on activities including: arts, crafts, music, carpentry, mechanics, horticulture, natural handcraft and pottery; they are probably best known for their work with horses. The JAC stables are home to ten talented and very special equine ‘experts’ who work with mentors to deliver a unique, and hugely successful, style of Equine Assisted Therapeutic Learning & Development.
Over 160 children and young people aged between 5 and 25 attend weekly sessions at JAC to help build up resilience and overcome obstacles in life that hinder their progression in school, family and/or the community. Following on from the programme young people can volunteer at the farm and become part of the team. For those interested in a vocational qualification but find mainstream college too difficult, a SEN-tailored post-16 qualification in equine care or small animal welfare is on offer. One boy started at JAC in July, attending for an hour and a half a week and he loves it there. His anxiety and stress have improved and he is much happier than he was. Another child was referred from the school to JAC because he was only attending school for a half day, now he attends school full-time and he is much happier and focused in lessons, he loves to go to JAC and if he doesn’t attend for a day, he gets very upset! Since 2020, our Ascot Racecourse Supports programme has provided funding to support the charity’s work and in further recognition, we named our 4.45pm race “The Just Around the Corner Ascot Handicap Stakes”.