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We provide an intervention/support for our clients which is tailored to suit their individual needs and targets. We use a lot of animal interaction and outdoor activities which can benefit the children in various ways. Currently we have clients from the age of 5 years old, right up to students in college. We support students who display challenging behavior within their educational setting, students who are struggling to develop social skills and students who find regulating their emotions tricky, or young people struggling with anxiety. We work closely with the team at their schools to provide the most beneficial input to enable them to best achieve their targets. We offer one to one sessions or group sessions. One to one session, the student will be with a member of our team and engage in a range of activities that they enjoy. Some of our children love the animals and regularly interact with the horses, chickens, dogs, pigs, sheep and goats, others prefer to be more hands on and do construction activities. We go for nature walks with the animals to our local ford, or around the nature trail on our farm.
We feed the animals, brush them, ride the horses, learn how to look after them, muck them out etc. We also make campfires for toasting marshmallows and cooking ration packs, den building, outdoor games, arts and crafts, woodwork and construction, learning about nature etc. Some of our children come to us to simply build self-esteem, confidence and relationships. Others come to us to explore their identity, learn how to develop social skills and identify their emotions. We aim to incorporate learning whilst they don’t really realise, they are doing so. For example, we often use the horses as examples of emotions and relationships (i.e. how do you think that horse would feel if …)? Quite often children find it easier to put this into context before thinking about how they would feel themselves.
Our sessions are tailored around each individual and what they feel comfortable doing. Some children enjoy mixing with other clients, others prefer being one to one, we are very flexible. At the end of each session we fill out feedback forms with the students to gauge what they enjoyed/didn’t enjoy/whether they’ve learnt anything/what they’d like to do next time etc. We have been able to help so many children already who have positively flourished in a setting that allows them to escape the demands of the educational environment.
Session fees are £25 per hour per head. Sessions can be booked in weekly blocks (i.e. 6 weeks, 8 weeks etc) with view to extending or left open for however long the student requires the input. Sessions can vary in length, depending on the individual child. We can do 1-hour sessions or longer. We usually suggest no longer than 4 hours as it can be challenging to maintain concentration and attention for this length of time. For sessions that extend over the lunch time period, children can bring lunch with them. We have a ‘classroom’ area which we base ourselves in, or in the warmer months we can have picnics outside with the animals. We do ask that any children attending have an adult with them (either a TA or a parent or similar). We also ask that a referral form is completed by school or the parent prior to any student starting with us which provides us with as much background information as possible so that we can offer the most effective support.