Before joining The Country Girls I had always wanted to learn to shoot, inspired by my love of eating pheasant when I was younger (I genuinely had smoked pheasant sandwiches at school) but I never had the right connections to even know where to start so it remained quite simply a dream for around 11-12 years.

I encountered a very difficult period in my life that led to me being diagnosed with PTSD and through this I felt like I had lost myself. I didn’t know what direction I wanted to go in life and I gradually became more withdrawn and lacking the energy to do anything.

I was aware of my colleague being a member (and for a while a Regional ambassador) of The Country Girls and I’d often see her having fun on Instagram at events and it really got me thinking that it was something I could do.

I remained in the shadows for a little while longer until I became fed up of my situation and I really wanted to ‘put myself out there’ and try new things- first on the list was finally learning to shoot.

Next thing I know, I’m a member of the group and ready to get stuck in. Through the East Anglian girls group chat I was alerted to opportunities to go beating and managed to get a spot working on a local farm shoot. I was a bit apprehensive that I’d somehow mess it all up as I had no idea how to beat but the day was an absolute success for me.

A day in the countryside, climbing over fences and through bushes, working alongside dogs and speaking to likeminded people gave me a mega dose of mental energy and I felt better than I had for the last 4 years in that moment.

I had finally found the place where I fitted in and it only took me 12 years to do so!

It was a snowball effect from there and my connections through beating pointed me in the direction of my local clay shooting ground where I took up a ‘have a go’ session and haven’t looked back since. I’ve barely scratched the surface of what The Country Girls UK can give me and I already owe a lot of my recovery to the group. 

I can’t wait to see what the next year brings!

Written by CGUK member Kathryn Dominey