Success WILL come if you work hard enough!

It’s been a VERY busy month with lots happening. On the 18th May I presented to a group of people interested or already involved in Care Farming at a small care farm in Shopshire. The location was stunning and whilst the weather wasn’t fantastic, it was good enough for us to go for  a brief tour after lunch to see some of the animals on the farm. The course looked at “Animal Assisted Therapy in Care Farming” and addressed the history of Animal Assisted Therapy, the background to Care Farming, AAT’s potential role in Care Farming, possible techniques and of course, the all essential Health & Safety! The day went very well and feedback was more than encouraging and gave me the little “oomph” I needed to prepare for the “Animal Assisted Therapy in Counselling” course.

Here is one of the feedback comments:

      ” I thought what a lovely lass she was. All the content and information was there, and it was in informative bite sized chunks. I really enjoyed it. When I saw how she relaxed with the animals I almost wished we had done things the other way around, as she positively shone from then on.”

Well that was all the encouragement I needed to get myself into gear and prepare for the upcoming “Animal Assisted Therapy in Counselling” course. The course took place on the 9th June at Keele Sustainability Hub at Keele University, Staffordshire. It was very well attended on the day with a comfortable group size and no sooner did the click hit 9:30am than people started coming through the door. Delegates were welcomed enthusiastically by Flossie, who went up to each person, sniffed and wagged and waited for a fuss. […]

HumAnima CIC – Start with Why!

Some weeks back a dear friend of mine introduced me to a FANTASTIC Ted Talk by Simon Sinek, entitled “How great leaders inspire action”. The talk starts by asking the question why certain companies and individuals are successful – “There’s something else at play here” says Simon. He suggests that there is a pattern that all successful individuals and companies follow that he has called “The Golden Circle”. In short, these inspired leaders and organisations all communicate WHY they do what they do, WHY they exist, WHY they are different. This made an quite an impact on me especially as I always had an immense aversion to any form of sales.

This week, I attended a conference in Birmingham hosted by Social Enterprise West Midlands at the lovely Concept Conference Centre. The event was very well attended and with a jam packed programme I honestly didn’t think I would last the day. The subject matter? “Open Innovation”. Now what is more innovative and unique than an approach that is very fresh and new here in the UK, not familiar to many and unusual? Not to mention the business structure is a new type of structure, a Community Interest Company and a social enterprise. Pretty innovative huh? So I decided to tootle along and see what I could learn.

The day looked at several social enterprises that were being innovative and unique in their own special way – Start Again CIC (whose creator, Mark I had heard speak before) is an amazing social enterprise which came about as a result of one young man recognising a need for those struggling with their mental well-being that might be addressed in a more holistic way by working on their physical well-being, social skills […]

New Exciting Course: Animal Assisted Therapy in Counselling – 9th June 2012 @ Keele Sustainability Hub

Come and join us for this exciting new course that we’ve developed here at HumAnima CIC!

Principle 3 – Obtain a Yield

Whether it’s because of the time of the year, the alignment of the stars, the right conditions, synchronicity, fate or just finally having the right conditions and circumstances, ideas are “being laid” left, right and centre. Much of it started last week when we had a meeting with a lovely lady from Community Catalysts. Commcats (@Commcats) are an awesome organisation fighting micro-enterprises’ corner and helping the likes of Pulp Friction – a cracking social enterprise which provides volunteering opportunities for young people to develop work readiness, social and independence skills.

Initially, I had come to the meeting not knowing really, what to talk about. So much has been going on that I was, in essence, starting to lose my focus. Thankfully, with Amy’s help, I was able to regain my focus. I’ve been able to clarify my current action plan and (incredibly) have come up with some ideas that will hopefully put HumAnima CIC on the public sector map. In the coming weeks, I will be creating 3 or 4 case studies based on anonymous details, that will give social workers an idea of how HumAnima CIC can deliver social, emotional and psychological outcomes for service users through tailor-made Animal Assisted Therapy programmes and associated work. By working in a person-centred way, we can also focus on areas that service user feels needs the most attention, as ultimately they are their own expert.

I am hoping that this will help enlighten people as to HumAnima CIC’s intentions, possibilities and ultimately the opportunities available when working with Animal Assisted Therapy and Eco-therapy. I realise now that all these ideas swimming around in my head are muddying the water and it’s time to gain some clarity and focus. However, this is also […]

By |March 17th, 2012|Case study, Counselling, Good Practice, Psychotherapy|1 Comment

Developments at HumAnima CIC & the Reality of Impact

Hi Everybody,

It’s been a while again and whilst I have not been so present in the ‘blogosphere’ my mind has been racing nineteen to the dozen with thoughts and ideas!

We have a LOT going on with HumAnima CIC – at present an application is being put together to apply for funding to deliver Counselling and Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) for free to the deprived communities in Wolverhampton. Haven’t a clue if we’ll be successful but if you don’t ask you don’t get.

I grew up in Wolverhampton, in one of the more deprived areas, so I have seen first hand what it can be like to live in this part of the community. Whilst everybody talks about pushing equality, the reality takes a lot longer to put into action. We can but chip away and push as hard as we can to contribute as much as possible to just one of the many communities that really could benefit from being given a little time, yes, money but most importantly, a listening ear. A multitude of people of different races, backgrounds and ages (to name but a few categories into which people are boxed into…) live in these areas and whilst it might seem obvious that they need money, what they could really do with is empathy, understanding and somebody willing to give them the time of day. Whilst growing up, I met a fair few people that could have been stereotyped as being, not so approachable, scary, stupid, dull or “benefit scroungers” who, if you took a moment to get to know them are in fact friendly (perhaps a bit shy), misunderstood, undervalued, ignored or disabled. In this way I feel I have been most lucky […]

New Year, New Resolutions, New You…?

It’s been some time since my last post as it’s all been happening. Several things have happened with HumAnima CIC, starting with the addition of two Directors to the Board.

Dr John Hegarty, has 40+ years of experience as an applied psychologist working in a university department, where he has carried out action research in collaboration with organisations for people with special support needs. He has a private practice in hypnotherapy and nature-guided counselling. He was a member of the EU scientifiic panel COAST 866 on “green care in agriculture” and has researched and published on people’s connectedness with nature and its health benefits. He is on the board of directors of two farm-based social enterprises and has established “Green Age” as a not for profit social enterprise offering day support on his farm for older people.



Mrs Susan Turner, has also joined the Board of Directors. Mrs Turner has a background in counselling and has worked extensively as a Counsellor and also in the learning disability field as a Senior Day Centre Officer. She has had a career-long interest in Gerard Egan’s Model, which is expanded upon in his book “The Skilled Helper”.


With our new Directors on board, HumAnima CIC will be able to deliver a more professional service. We will be working together to ensure that our work is of the highest standard and that we continue to deliver high quality, engaging, motivating and supportive services; be that through counselling or workshops.

Also, in light of the recent Permaculture course I went on, I am continuing to explore the nature in therapy theme. On the 14th January 2012, I will be attending a course at Keele University in their new Sustainability Hub buildings where Dr Hegarty will […]

Getting HumAnima “out & about”!

It’s been a while since I last updated the blog but simply because I’ve been rushed off my feet. September has been a busy month and I’ve been doing my best to get our presence out there and known.

I haven’t been to business school or done a business degree course but knowing a little about psychology and being interested in what makes people “tick”, I thought that thinking about marketing and doing marketing would involve employing my creative capabilities, psychological knowledge, counselling expertise with a pinch of patience, a dash of money and a smidgen of luck. Well suffice to say that if that’s what I thought (which I naively did) then I was on another planet….

Respect to the marketing executives, creative directors and general marketing know-it-alls out there. “Doing” marketing is like learning another language. I kid you not. It requires as much “oomph” as learning the past participle superlatives and demonstrative pronouns of any language – be they North, South, East or West! I can honestly say this learning journey is going to be without a doubt the hardest and the longest – it is going to continue non-stop and hopefully develop (with my growing marketing ‘awareness’ ).

My existing marketing expertise amounts to – and the best advice I can give ANY emerging enterprise – go out and network! Even if you think it might not be relevant or that a given event is only marginally relevant to what you are doing, still go! You never know who you might end up chatting to whilst enjoying your cup of tea during break, who might sit next to you whilst listening to the latest about micro-enterprises or who might spot your name on […]

By |September 23rd, 2011|Animal Assisted Therapy, Counselling, Psychotherapy|0 Comments

Natural Horsemanship & Us

Last week, I had the wonderful opportunity to go on a days course entitled “Introduction to Natural Horsemanship” at Kingdom Horse CIC near Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. The course had been arranged by Kingdom Horse CIC and the wonderful Growing Rural Enterprise, who support those in or who want to start in rural enterprise.

The course was led by Ingela Larsson-Smith, an incredible professional horsewoman with an innate ability for Natural Horsemanship. Ingela’s no-nonsense approach quickly became clear but with an injection of humour she came across as a dynamic and motivating teacher (“Leader”). I have put “Leader” there as this is what much of our learning involved in the morning… Learning about horse dynamics.

Now I suppose I should start by saying outright that I am NOT a horsey person. As much as I would love to be, this was a past-time that evaded my youth, primarily because of its expense and also due to a lack of access to any horses! I have a very healthy respect for horses and I would add a mild intimidation of them, due to their size, power and perhaps, I am now realising, their ability to look straight into your soul, know what’s their without a second glance and read you like an open book. I have been horse riding on several occasions throughout my life, mostly in Poland when I was on holiday and when I lived there. I learnt to trot and canter (once) but the lessons were stretched so far apart that there was no continuity. As a result I didn’t get a chance to really build a relationship with any of the horses I worked with, which I can quite clearly see created a massive barrier to any […]

HumAnima is interviewed by West Midlands BIP!

Hello again everybody!

Recently HumAnima CIC was fortunate enough to be interviewed by the lovely Judith Radcliffe of West Midlands Business Information Partnership (BIP). You can find out more about HumAnima CIC’s origins and the Director’s inspiration, reasoning and influence behind starting this social enterprise! It is in 2 parts so please find the links below:

West Midlands BIP Interview – Part 1

West Midlands BIP Interview – Part 2

Animal Human Interaction: Research & Practice Newsletter of Division 17, APA

AHI Newsletter Autumn 2011

Please find attached (click the above link) the latest Animal-Human Interaction Newsletter. Filled with lots of information regarding the human-animal bond and the latest research from contributors all over the world. HumAnima CIC’s Director & Counsellor, Kathryn has herself contributed to this edition of the newsletter! Enjoy!!