Scunthorpe entrepreneur launches equine psychotherapy business with £1,000 investment

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 12 Jul 2017

A Scunthorpe entrepreneur who specialises in helping those requiring emotional or psychological support to tackle stress, mental illness and anxiety has launched a new business after receiving a £1,000 grant.

Joanne Wagstaff has started Sequoia Psychotherapy, an equine-orientated therapeutic service centre, after receiving the money from the UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE) Kickstart Fund.

Joanne has more than 10 years of experience as a trained and accredited psychotherapist in the equine psychotherapy industry, which sees humans interact with horses in their natural environment as a tool for emotional growth and learning.

The new business is a therapeutic service for people of all ages who need emotional and/or psychological intervention.

Joanne, who specialises in allowing people to solve their own problems given the right conditions to do so, has expanded her psychotherapist team to three people and has also invested in business support and web design services.

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She is also looking to take on apprentices within the next three years to create development and learning opportunities for young people to secure future employment.

She now plans to utilise the Kickstart funding to hold a demonstration showcasing the interventions she specialises in, as well as investing in marketing materials and advertising the business.

And she has also used the money to buy a secure and confidential IT database to ensure the business can run without paper records, in accordance with the Data Protection Act.

Joanne said: "Horses have a unique ability to help clients increase emotional intelligence and increase self-awareness, as well as to develop resilience and aid self-regulation. The empowerment that I see some clients get from their sessions is unbelievable, and it is amazing to continue to do this on such a scale that can really change peoples’ lives.

"The funding that I have received has been a huge help in getting the business up and running. I love being able to provide my clients with such a unique psychotherapy session, and this wouldn’t have been possible without the funding from UKSE Kickstart Fund."

The Kickstart Fund was launched in February last year by UKSE, a subsidiary of Tata Steel, in partnership with North Lincolnshire Council and the Growth Hub.

Its aim is to support people looking to establish a business in North Lincolnshire and it provides grants of between £500 and £1,000.

Allan Wood, of UKSE, said: "Sequoia Psychotherapy is really helping to change the lives of many individuals, and is a great example of what can be achieve by ambitious and passionate entrepreneurs who are looking to utilise their existing skills start up on their own.

"The company’s outlook is very promising and we will eagerly await its development over the coming months."

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