A charity is recruiting in its mission to help more people struggling with their mental health, writes Jennifer Mulcahey.

TheHorseCourse is looking for the right person to run a new project which will involve bringing a new garden to life.

The Weymouth-based charity is recognised as a leader in the field of equine-assisted interventions and is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. In the past decade it has helped more than 1,000 people improve their mental health with the aid of its now 16-strong herd of horses.

The charity’s founder Harriet Laurie said: “We’ve had a ringing endorsement from the National Lottery in the form of a £68,000 grant which has enabled us to expand and improve our facilities.

“As part of that we have developed a garden space to take advantage of the well-documented benefits of working outside in nature. Now we need a special person to bring it to life and work with groups and with our volunteers. They’ll need to be passionate about social change, skilled and compassionate around vulnerable people, knowledgeable about plants and if they can drive a tractor as well we will be thrilled to bits.

Read more: Mind Your Head campaign to combat farming's mental health crisis

“Lots of training will be given on the job but we do need someone one knows their way around a kitchen garden as we will be growing food and delivering land-based qualifications and offering supported volunteering as a stepping stone to work or training. The garden project will be a safe place, particularly for young people and adults with mental health problems to grow.

“It’s a great opportunity to build a project from the ground up and make a significant contribution to improving the lives of some of the most disadvantage people in society.

“We are very excited about the new project but the core of our work is still our innovative five-day ReStart course which helps participants make significant improvements in core skills like calmness, assertiveness, focus, persistence, communication, planning and empathy and many go on to join our team of volunteers who help on the farm.”