Sian Haigh-Brown, 33 and from Chester, started her canine hydrotherapy centre three years ago with the help of The Prince’s Trust.
After studying and working in veterinary medicine since she was 16, Sian found her calling when she spent 2 weeks in Yorkshire shadowing at a hydrotherapy centre, where she saw the treatment’s amazing outcomes. She realised hydrotherapy was an effective alternative to medication and surgery for dogs, and continued to gain work experience in the field.
Sian found that there was a massive demand for canine hydrotherapy in her area, so decided to set up her own centre using an underwater treadmill and pool-based therapy to rehabilitate dogs, called Country Canines Hydrotherapy.
Business and financial support from The Trust enabled Sian to set up her business, which has gone from strength to strength. That was until Coronavirus hit the UK.
A staff member from The Prince’s Trust reached out to tell Sian about the Enterprise Relief Fund, a partnership with NatWest that allows young business owners to apply for grants to support them through the financial hit from Coronavirus.
“I applied and received £5,509, which covered our basic bills and rent, so we could keep the business ticking over until we reopened. Because the property is also my home, I could have been evicted if I didn’t receive this financial help. It also meant we could keep our team of three staff members and continue supporting the local economy.”
“In the meantime, my mentor gave me emotional and practical support – I couldn’t have got through it without him. He kept my head above water during quite a dark time, where I was struggling to find someone to talk to.”
Sian reopened Country Canines Hydrotherapy in June. She said “we’ve never more in demand since the day we’ve opened, and that’s thanks to the financial and mentoring support from The Prince’s Trust”.