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Registered Charity Number 1156595
The Hummingbird Centre
Grange Courtyard
Station Road


OX26 5DX
01869 244 244
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July 2020

Even though we are still dealing with the day to day challenges of COVID-19, we are still supporting our guests in so many ways.

We are happy to be re-launching our Equine Therapy later this month.

Equilore, a newly formed charity that uses horses to transform lives by delivering “powerful” therapy has opened its doors near Bicester.

Rather than talking, face-to-face, with a counsellor, Dr Loes Koorenhof provides one-to-one and group Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy effectively using her four horses to work with people who are struggling with their mental health to build trust, self-esteem and confidence.

Operating on a self-employed basis for the previous few years, she has seen some “amazing results”.
But in order for this therapy and unique support to be accessible to more people Loes has taken the major step to register Equilore as a charity.

Operating as a charity will enable Loes to secure funding to subsidise therapy costs. This means some of those who are struggling the most will be better able to afford and access the support Loes and her four horses can offer.

Dr Loes Koorenhof, a chartered psychologist with a PhD in Clinical Neuroscience, said: “When I started this work, I always wanted it to be available to those who need it, not just those who can afford it.

“Although equine therapy can be more expensive, because of the upkeep of the horse, what spurs me on is that we have already had some amazing results with children and adults. For some clients, talking therapies have often been ineffective but working with the horses has literally changed their lives.”

© Ian Jones

Equine therapy is a form of therapy where clients work with horses to reflect on and change negative behaviour. Because the interaction with the horses is non-verbal, the horses react to body language and intentions only. Loes is able to work to each individual’s needs, designing specific activities and interaction with the horses to develop key skills or overcome crippling anxieties.

Loes and her horses have worked with The Hummingbird Centre for the past few years, supporting people through cancer.
A former client, said: “This was an experience that not only saved me from sinking down a very large hole but has changed how I think about and deal with the negative things that crop up in my life.”

Hummingbird founder Mechelle Harris said: “The works she's done with our guests (and children) has been amazing especially those who have gone through a bereavement.  Having seen the results and experienced it myself, albeit for only a few hours, I was taken aback how powerful working with the horses was.”

Once the charity is up and running, people will be able to self-refer or be referred via schools, the NHS or local government.

For more information or to contact Loes via

Story written by Samantha Mcgregor

King’s College London

Recently The Hummingbird Centre were approached by King's College London who are looking for participants for an online research study. The aim of the research is to understand if their new online programme, designed to build resilience in people who have been treated for cancer, can reduce worry and low mood.

They are looking for participants who have previously been diagnosed with, and have had treatment for, breast cancer and have not had, or do not currently have secondary cancer and have completed treatment for breast cancer within the past 2 years but not the past 4 months and are over the age of 18 based in the UK.

If you would like to find out more about this study, please follow this link
or contact the team at



Bicester Bean Coffee Shop Cafe

Huge thanks to Alyson who is still finding a way to support The Hummingbird Centre by asking for a donation to use Beryl and Bob, their Al Fresco dining pods.

Alyson is opening the doors of Bicester Bean today for the first time since March and have done an amazing job at the cafe to ensure government guide lines on social distancing are adhered to.

We would like to wish Alyson and her team all the very best back doing what they do best.

Stay safe all and take very good care.