Liz Morrison

I was privileged to receive my Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award from Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace. Little did I know that the experiences then and our shared love of horses would shape my life- even my own legacy. For the 3 years of my Dof E Community Service I had visited residents of a 'Geriatric Ward' in Belfast during ‘the troubles’. I wrote notes for them to send, asked about their memories. They may have been frail, but they had experienced a full life. I couldn't understand that they had no other visitors….
With Covid, the loneliness and isolation of older people with life changing illnesses has now been highlighted. I've always believed that horses were special - for different reasons at different times in our lives. We now know that the presence of a horse can stimulate withdrawn people to talk again, to share memories.
Soon, the wheelchair accessible 'Happiness Horsebox' that I have designed will take friendly horses to care homes and hospices for special conversations. It also helps riders with mobility issues to be lifted up to mount easily - and so compete and just ride in beautiful countryside,
The Sir Peter O'Sullevan and Willberry Wonder Pony charities have supported its build and now it has won a Sport England Innovation Award. I really think Prince Phillip would have been pleased at how it all started! To complete the circle, the computer generated image / video of it on our website was created by a 15yo as part of his DoE too!!