A charity set up to rehabilitate retired racehorses is starting a new club for elderly men with degenerative conditions.
Touchdown Memorial Home for Horses is based in Mulben, near Keith, and takes in unwanted animals and nurses them back to full health if they are unwell.
It recently received a rare accreditation.
Now staff are keen to expand their business and the work they do for the community by introducing a new club that allows elderly men with an interest in rural life to be involved in a number of activities at the farm.
Called the Countrymen’s Club, it is aimed at giving men who find themselves isolated because of deteriorating physical or mental health, or changing social conditions, the freedom to do some work in an outdoor environment.
Frances Davies set up the charity while living in England with her husband Brian before moving to Mulben 12 years ago in a bid to expand it.
The organisation earned the Highly Commended Status in British Horse Society approval as a retraining centre for horses, becoming the first charity in Scotland to earn it and only the fourth in the UK last year.
It’s hoped the business can carry out some more work in the community.
Mrs Davies highlighted the importance of giving something back to elderly men who used to work in the farming industry and want the chance to gain more experience.
She said: “This is a chance for elderly gentlemen, with a rural background or just an interest in rural life, with conditions such as Parkinson’s disease or dementia to come and be involved in farm and animal activities in a safe environment.
“I know from my own experience working in healthcare that many gentlemen have a rural background so I hope this will be of general interest to them.
“We will be providing a safe environment for them to come and enjoy rural activities, for those who used to live outdoor lives but are now confined indoors due to health issues and age.”
The first meeting of the club will take place on Saturday March 30 at 2.30pm at The Stables, Fangorn Farm in Mulben, with carers and supporters also welcome to attend.
To find out more information, contact Fran.firstname.lastname@example.org