Sam and Mark take the reins at Rugby charity

Sam and Mark met various children on their visit
Sam and Mark met various children on their visit

CBBC duo Sam and Mark have visited a Rugby charity to see its work with children.

Taking the Reins aims to improve relationships, self-esteem and communication through working with horses and ponies – and Sam and Mark were able to see all this in action when they attended a session with the children and young people.

Sam said: “The children and young people at Taking the Reins are just fantastic and it was a total pleasure to meet them today. Thanks to the project for being amazing and inviting us down to find out about their work.”

The project is run by Circles Network, based in Cawston, and has received cash from the Children in Need charity.

Mark said: “This is a brilliant local project and I’m so pleased we were able to see the work first hand. It was such fun today and really inspiring to see what people’s generous donations to BBC Children in Need can do.”

The children and young people at the project may have a physical disability, autism, emotional or behavioural challenges. Through guided sessions, the ‘equine facilitated learning’ gives them the chance to work in teams, support others and learn to work with their peers.

Circles Network chief executive Mandy Neville said: “We are extremely grateful to BBC Children in Need for their much needed support allowing us to run Taking the Reins throughout the Midlands.

“This project is totally inclusive and welcomes children into an environment that offers a fusion of education, therapy and fun. Sam and Mark made our weekend very special and the children, who are all keen fans, loved having them join in.”

Sam Nixon and Mark Rhodes have presented various programmes on CBBC, and were finalists in the 2003 series of Pop Idol.