Patrick the pony is making a real difference in Torbay

The team from a funeral home in Torquay are helping the local community by supporting a charitable organisation that provides pony therapy.

Torbay and District Funeral Service, which is part of the Funeral Partners network of high-quality funeral homes, has a long standing relationship with the organisation Community Pony which supports local people through Patrick, its Miniature Shetland therapy pony.  They have donated over £1000 towards Patrick’s training to become a therapy pony and sponsor the van which transports him around to enable him to visit people.

Sandra Murphy, Area Development Manager for Funeral Partners, said: “The team and Torbay and District Funeral Service have continued to support  Patrick the Pony in his work as a therapy pony, providing support to local people in Torbay.

Pony therapy can be so beneficial to many people and Patrick has an invaluable role in helping with the service we provide of supporting bereaved families. As well as supporting Patrick’s work as a therapy pony we helped to make Patrick a mascot for the Purple Poppy Appeal, which remembers animals that fall victim to war. We even bought him a smart new coat to wear on his mascot duties.”

Pony therapy has been known to reduce blood pressure and overall cardiovascular health. It can help release endorphins that provide calming effects, this can help alleviate pain, reduce stress, anxiety and improve overall psychological state.

Kirk Petrakis, Director of Community Pony, said:” We originally bought Patrick with the intention of using him to pull a small carriage for our three children but soon realised that he was better suited at interacting with people and that is when we decided he would make a great therapy pony.

“We are really grateful to Sandra and the staff at Torbay and District Funeral Service for their support with our therapy pony project. The money they donated has helped with Patrick’s training and gone towards the cost of equipment.

“Patrick is now fully insured as a therapy pony. He has visited hospitals, schools and recovery groups, and we have taken people on walks with Patrick, which has helped many with anxiety and stress. We have attended wakes, where Patrick has brought comfort to those affected by grief and bereavement. “

Sandra adds: “We are really pleased that we have been able to support such a worthwhile cause. The Torbay and District Funeral Service logo is on Patrick’s transport to show our support, it is great to see the progress he has made and to know we are part of it.”