Horses, happiness and hugs. Truro College alumni changing lives

It’s been a busy year for former Truro and Penwith College University courses student, Laura Dennis. She’s gone from handing in assignments to hugging horses, as part of Cornwall based charity The Hugs Foundation, since she graduated earlier this year.

woman hugging a brown and white pony in a stable

The Hugs Foundation, based near Bodmin, started as a rescue centre for abused and neglected horses. They quickly started taking in other animals and after realising the positive effect of the animals on their human carers, brought in a team of dedicated mental health support workers to help the rescued creatures provide therapeutic effects to people in need.

Laura applied for the job while studying the BA (Hons) in Human Behavioural Studies and worked part-time at the charity until she graduated. Her official role at The Hugs Foundation is fundraising co-ordinator, but with a long history of working with horses and her education at Truro and Penwith College, Laura told us how she is ideally placed to provide support in other areas.

“I use lots of elements from my degree; the theories behind behaviours, learning, cognition and memory, mental health and wellbeing and conflict resolution“ she told us, explaining how this along with how the writing skills she learnt at Truro and Penwith College have been invaluable to her finding her placement.

She also enjoys working with the animals, mucking out and assisting in training and is enthusiastic about the impact of her work. “It’s amazing to see such incredible transformations,” she said. “Both the rescue animals and the people”

We've had horses here that have been wild and untrusting and now in loving forever homes and even visiting care homes, giving back the love and care they have received from Hugs and bringing smiles to residents

For more information about the Hugs Foundation check out their website HERE. If you’re thinking of continuing in higher education or looking to return, you can find out more about the university level social science courses, including the BA in Human Behavioural Studies, that we offer at Truro and Penwith College HERE.