CHANCES - A QUICK HISTORY
Ruth's Young Adult novel, reached #1 in three UK Amazon categories. Born in London, Ruth now lives in beautiful Cornwall. As a child she always dreamed of being an author and spent a huge amount of time reading and writing pony stories in her school exercise books – which didn’t make her teachers very happy! Horses are a huge passion and it had always been Ruth’s cherished dream to write a pony book. Like Amber in CHANCES, Ruth grew up dreaming about having a horse of her own and lived for riding lessons or time spent at the stables.
That’s where any similarities end. The heroine of CHANCES has a life which certainly contains a great more obstacles than Ruth’s own. Before writing full time Ruth was an English teacher, a Head of Pastoral Care and also worked as part of the Child Protection and Safeguarding Team in a big secondary school. She draws upon her experiences of working with young people for CHANCES and, although the novel is 100% fiction and very much in the pony story genre, she hopes there’s truth here for readers of all ages, backgrounds and interests. Themes such as isolation, illness, misunderstandings, bullying, friendship, parents and children, being a young carer, responsibility and belonging run through the book alongside those of hope, trust and dreams coming true.
CHANCES is a novel which means a great deal to Ruth. As a teacher and a Year Head she has experienced first-hand the challenges that many young people have to overcome before the school day even begins. Students like Amber often find in horses a level of acceptance and understanding they often don’t encounter anywhere else and the difference this makes to their lives is immeasurable. Ruth is a British Horse Society member and she donates a percentage of any profits CHANCES makes to equine charities that work with young people.
British Horse Society
Changing Lives Through Horse Programme
Chances in paperback format is available through the BHS Bookshop.
Every copy sold by the BHS Bookshop donates £1.00 to their CLTH programme.
Ruth's proud to be an official Changing Lives through Horses supporter. By supporting The British Horse Society (BHS) programme which aims to improve the lives of disengaged young people who, for various reasons, are at risk of becoming excluded – we hope to contribute to making a difference.
The programme gives disengaged young people, regardless of their background, the opportunity to develop their skills enabling them to return to education and/or employment.
To find out more about how the programme is transforming lives
and how you can get involved too, visit the BHS website.
You can make a donation towards this life-changing programme
and help more disengaged young people on JustGiving.
Nearly one in ten 16-18 year olds are not in education, employment
or training (NEET), while one in four young people struggle with low
self-esteem, wellbeing and mental health problems.
Changing Lives through Horses has the potential to reach these
people at a critical point in their lives.
Using horses as the inspiration for change, the programme
provides an alternative learning environment to mainstream
education. The skills developed through the programme meet the
requirements of ongoing education and training, employers and
With the horse at the core of the learning environment, disengaged
young people develop a variety of life skills ranging from everyday
communication through to teamwork and understanding
Visit The British Horse Society website to find out how the programme
is making a difference, and how you can support it too.
Since publication, Chances has been donating to the groups below.
Thank you to everyone who has supported Chances.
Sirona Therapeutic Horsemanship
Sirona Therapeutic Horsemanship in South Devon, UK provides equine-based educational and therapeutic activities to disadvantaged young people and adults with the aim of promoting increased resilience and social, emotional and physical well-being.
Sirona Therapeutic Horsemanship takes a person and horse centred holistic approach to working with people and horses and provides a non-judgemental, experiential and positive learning environment that enables people to:
• Explore and learn more about themselves through engaging in activities and relationships with horses based around learning about horse behaviour and management, employing a ‘positive horsemanship’ approach.
• Develop an interest in the natural environment and engage in physical exercise in order to experience mental and physical health benefits, whilst having fun.
The Emile Faurie Foundation
The Foundation was set up in 2006 by one of the UK’s leading equine sportsmen, Emile Faurie, to remove one of the barriers to a sport that can enrich the lives of everyone who participates at whatever level. Since starting the Foundation has funded over 65 projects and funded over 12,000 children to experience the joy of horses - we have many who started with the EFF who are now enjoying a career in horses.
Farms for City Children
Children’s author Michael Morpurgo and his wife Clare founded Farms for City Children at Nethercott House in Devon in 1976. The charity offers urban children from all over the country a unique opportunity to live and work together for a week at a time on a real farm in the heart of the countryside. It is an intense, ‘learning through doing’ experience of a different life – for children who may not know where their food comes from and have limited opportunities to explore the outside world.
We now have three working farms, where we welcome around 3,200 children and 400 teachers a year.
Humanity For Horses
Save an animal - Save an angel
Be an angel - Save an animal
Humanity for Horses is a 501C3 non-profit organization, Tax ID:27-4116043. It was birthed in 2012 when a law was revoked, allowing horses to be slaughtered in the USA. The reason for this name is obvious - humanity must speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Fortunately, after much hard work, in January 2014, the U.S. Government effectively eliminated horse slaughter.
As well as the amazing associations and groups above, there are so many other worthwhile charities, individuals and good causes that I try to support through my books, both locally and internationally. Through the organisation Compassion I sponsor an incredible young girl in Haiti. I also visit schools and colleges to give talks to young people about my writing journey. Locally, there are retailers that have donated the proceeds from selling my books to various charitable causes.