It is with immense pride and joy that we announce the well-deserved recognition of Stable Lives Director, Carrie Byrom, who has been honoured with the prestigious Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Year’s Honours List for her Services to Mental Health and the Community in the North West of England. This distinguished accolade serves as a testament to Carrie’s unwavering dedication to the service of others and her outstanding contributions to the community.
Following significant challenges, through sport related injury and health challenges, Carrie’s resilience and determination shone through as she focused her attention towards helping others, during her own recovery. Supported by a team of selfless volunteers, Carrie has been the driving force behind Stable Lives, a charity committed to providing vital support to individuals facing mental health challenges. Despite on-going health challenges, Carrie continues to put others before herself, working tirelessly to the benefit of those around her.
Stable Lives, celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year, has emerged as a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of mental health. The organisation operates with a mission to create a safe and supportive environment, reducing the stigma of mental health whilst utilising rehabilitated horses and ponies (themselves subjected to mental and physical trauma) to provide a way forward in the darkest of moments. Stable Lives has grown into a community hub, engaging a team of generous volunteers who share a common goal of making a meaningful impact on the lives of those in need. Supporting children and adults, Stable Lives is recognised in the community as a place of safety and support.
Despite her remarkable accomplishments, Carrie remains humble, often shying away from the limelight. However, she recognises the importance of showcasing the impactful work undertaken by Stable Lives in support of individuals facing mental health challenges.
Upon receiving news of the investiture, Carrie expressed her gratitude, stating,
“This award is a genuine honour for me. When I received the letter, it made me incredibly emotional and proud, as the work that I have been recognised for has grown from times in my life where I thought there was no future.”
“I’m not a particularly special person. I just used hope and faith to face challenging times. I now have the pleasure of working with an amazing team at Stable Lives, providing a safe place for others to do the same.”
Carrie Byrom MBE, Director of Stable Lives
Chris Lawson, Chair of Trustees at Stable Lives, added,
“We are delighted that Carrie has been awarded an MBE. She is an inspiration to all whom she meets. Stable Lives is supporting people in their darkest moments – transforming and saving lives. Carrie’s commitment to providing hope and faith to those in challenging situations is truly admirable; her care, love, kindness and her unwavering commitment to those in need makes her a beacon of inspiration”.
Chris Lawson, Chair of Trustees of Stable Lives
Carrie Byrom, Director, is a former international event rider who founded Stable Lives – a mental health charity in Parbold, Lancashire. The charity supports adults and children to overcome mental health difficulties by providing a safe space and hope for the future. Supporting Armed Forces and Blue Light Personnel and those impacted by PTSD, Stable Lives ponies help those in difficulty to see a way forward. The charity helps those who have faced their own mental health difficulties, from anxiety and depression through to PTSD, to create bonds with the animals and take part in land-based activities that help them rebuild confidence.
Carrie developed a hugely successful career in three day eventing, competing at the highest level and against international competitors in 4* events in Britain and Europe. She was on the Olympic pathway, with ambitions to compete in the 2020 games in Tokyo, when a career ending fall brought her aspirations to an end. Out of her own pain, Carrie turned her focus to curating a safe space to support those in need of support due to mental health and PTSD; Stable Lives was created out of the lived experience of a family friend who was unable to access the support they needed in a time of crisis. Despite having broken both arms and wrists, Carrie rode a horse for 24 hours in an attempt to raise much needed funds to continue her cause.
Based at Parbold Equestrian Centre in Lancashire, the horses and ponies (that themselves have been rehabilitated from exposure to mental and physical trauma) have grown in number over the years – as have the number of course participants and respite days for children and families. In recent years, the charity has also been supporting those at risk of suicide and those impacted by the death of someone by suicide.
In 2020, Boris Johnson awarded Carrie with the Points of Light award – recognising her impact on the lives of those in need during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
“I feel both honoured and blessed to receive a Points of Light award. I work with an amazing team of volunteers and have been so proud that we have been able to reach out and support so many Key Workers, children and military veterans through these challenging times.Carrie Byrom (2020)
Carrie led the Stable Lives team to victory in ‘The Animal Partnership Award’ category at the 2022 Awards. The award honours the unique relationships and companionship provided by animals as well as the achievements of individuals or organisations engaged with animals that support and empower members of the Armed Forces community.
Carrie and Stable Lives were delighted to be shortlisted for the Northern Gamechangers Award 2023. The awards, which were held on Thursday 21st September and run by Manchester-based business consultancy Elevate, celebrated the individuals and businesses making a positive different to sustainability, community, and diversity across Greater Manchester.