Winner: Festina Lente, Co Wicklow
Festina Lente is a not-for-profit organization providing a range of occupational learning and employment opportunities for people whose needs have not been met by mainstream services. It was founded in 1988, and has worked to fulfill both a social and business mission in an empathetic, professional and innovative way. All activities encourage individual personal development, achievement and progression. This is achieved through a flexible and supported learning environment. The project has a reputation for excellence in coaching people of all ages and abilities who not only learn to ride, but also learn about horse welfare and management. There is also a sensory trail, a Victorian Walled Garden and a shop. Festina Lente has had a significant impact on the lives of many people, providing innovative solutions to the training and development needs of those often excluded from participation in society. It is a shining example of good practice that could be replicated in other areas.
Festina Lente, meaning hasten slowly, is an embracing not-for-profit organization which provides a range of occupational learning and employment opportunities for people whose needs have not been met in mainstream services. It encompasses an equestrian centre, walled garden and a garden centre. The judges attest to a careful, considered approach which through social inclusion supports those most at risk. .All activities encourage individual personal development, achievement and progression. There are a number of programmes from therapeutic riding to equestrian vocational training, but the overriding ethos is one of encouragement and facilitation. In the judges’ opinion this is a shining example of good practice that could be replicated elsewhere.