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Summer 2019


Lauren is a regular visitor to the Centre and comes along most Wednesday's. She particularly enjoys preparing the food for our rabbits and guinea pigs and is also able to give them a groom.


She has just taken possession  of a new motorised wheelchair and so we asked her to have a practice with her new wheels and test out our wheelchair path. 


The path provides easier access to the riding arena for visitors using a wheelchair. Volunteers from Centrica helped with the construction in the summer, funded by a grant from the UPS Foundation.














March 2019

Northwick Day Centre


Our Special Farm Day


We enjoy going to the farm

We have fun, and come to no harm

The farm has various types of animals

Which we see and pet,

Horses pigs and goats

But not a ferret yet!


Lots of jobs for you and me,

Christalina sweeps with glee,

Into bags manure goes,

Later on fresh food grows.


Val to see the horses likes,

Watch out though 'cause Sparky bites!

In the big greenhouse Kathleen goes,

Into pots she plants and sows.


Sweeping up is not for Tony,

And he stays away from the pony.

Unlike Chris who the pony does love,

Chris works hard in the sunshine above.


Airplanes it seems you can reach up and tuch

They scare the rabbits in their hutch.

We're going home covered in muck,

Don't forget Tracy's egg from a duck!



December 2018

Exposure to Work Experience


The Ealing Careers Cluster programme is aimed at offering young people with special educational needs and disabilities an exposure to the world of work, reducing the numbers of young people that end up not in education, employment or training, or not fulfilling their full potential.


Heathrow Special Needs Centre has recently been supporting this programme and provided work experience for some of our learners. This has been an invaluable service as it has helped many of them to identify hidden skills and qualities. In addition, it has helped build their confidence and hopefully will help them towards making an informed choice about career progression. Thank you.


Angela George, Project Manager, Dynamic Training.



December 2018



I was introduced to the Heathrow Special Needs Centre earlier this year and jumped at the opportunity to join the team working with the animals and everyone who visits the centre.


Witnessing visitors enjoying riding for the disabled - spending time with the horses, donkeys, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and small furries (not forgetting my best friend Mistletoe, the turkey) helping to care for them and learning about their welfare - my eyes opened to the huge benefits for everyone (including myself) in gaining confidence  and discovering our own capabilities within the farm environment.


Seeing how the animal waste (manure) in turn feeds and nourishes plants and seedlings, also forms an important part of the whole centre experience for visitors, as does spending time in the indoor activity room and cafe.


And, as for me, I can finally satisfy and fulfil my childhood dream of working on a farm.


Verity Jones.


October 2018



This is Beau's mum Linda and Pam who is Beau's carer. We really just wanted to thank you all because you have really changed our life's so much. Beau really loves coming to the farm and enjoys his time so much, this has really helped him so much to build in confidence and in trusting people. It is so lovely to see him feeling so relaxedand he especially enjoys the dressing up themes.


Thank you the Owen family because they have made all feel so welcomeand the food is so good yum yum.


I find it so relaxing and therapeutic just being at the farm and we especially love our walks with little Whispa and watering all the plants. Thank you everyone, keep up changing peoples live's



August 2018

Alicia Bryant: 

Work Experience

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do work experience at the farm. I really enjoyed my time looking after all the different types of animals and interacting with the users and other volunteers. I was given the opportunity to groom the Shetland ponies, clean out the rabbits and chickens, feed the pigs and many other tasks! I have learnt how much hard work is required daily by the regular volunteers to keep the farm running for the users. It is an inspiring place to visit and volunteer at, surrounded by lots of kind and caring people. Thank you so much the experience. 



April 2018


Meadow High School

Royal Lane




Ryan Stevens and Brandon Reid


I am writing to thank you for giving work experience placements to the above students. We really appreciated you giving the students the opportunity of gaining experience and also giving them an insight of what it is like to work in different organisations. I know Ryan was there last year but he requested the placement there again this year. We are truly grateful for your willingness in supporting our pupils over the years.


Kind regards


Bernadette Cryan - Work experience coordinator







Tommy Hodgson - August 2017



I have been volunteering at Heathrow Special Needs Centre for 5 years now. I really enjoy coming here as there is a very friendly atmosphere. Everyone is very welcoming.

The people and the Farm Manager are really easy going and it is generally a very laid back place to be.

Of course, the best thing is the animals that are at the Centre and all the nature that surrounds it. It is great being out in the open air. You also get to meet a variety of different people with all the clients who use the Centre.

I really enjoy being a volunteer here.




Julie Lee - August 2017

I have been volunteering at the farm for about 18 months and during that time I have learnt so much about the animals, how to handle them and the day to day running of the farm. All the animals have personality and different needs and dietary requirements.

There is a lot of work involved in running the farm and gardens and I have come to admire the dedication and hard work of the people who work on the farm. Without them there would be no farm

Julie Lee.



Meadow High School - July 2017

I am writing to thank you for giving a work experience placement to our two students. We really appreciate you giving these students the opportunity of gaining experience and also giving them an insight of what it is like to work in different organisations. As not every company is willing to take on SEN students we are truly grateful for your willingness in supporting our pupils. Kind regards, Yours sincerely

Work experience Co-Ordinator.



Libby Holmes - July 2017




I enjoy coming to the farm. My favourite thing is grooming the miniature ponies and the donkeys. I have learnt lots of new skills and I am much more confident. I also like to pet the guinea pigs, especially the girls who have long hair. I have even done some gardening, and been picking. I enjoy helping people and looking after the animals.



Mark's Story - July 2017

Hello everybody, my name is Mark Owen. I've been at the farm since June 2016. I am a volunteer at the farm; also I am a worker in the tea room named Cedar tea Room. The tea room has been open since 5th december 2016.


How I started here is by horse riding then my mother, jenny Owen noticed the tea room and that's where I have been ever since.


Heathrow Special needs centre is the best place for those who have a special need. This place has got the most enjoyable and brilliant tea room which is run by the Owen family. People who come in love the home made cakes. Everyone enjoys the themes which they hold. Foe example, for easter time the Owen family dressed up as characters from Alice in Wonderland, the Easter bunny chasing service users in the egg hunt.


There are many things to do on this fantastic farm, such as cleaning the pens and the stables, keeping the arena clean, and all the hutches where the beautiful rabbits and guinea pigs live.


Approximately every six weeks the farrier visits to put the shoes on the four pretty horses, two ponies and two donkeys.


It is hard work to clean out the donkey and horses' fields.


We have a selection of animals on this amazing farm - horses,ponies,donkeys,sheep,goats,turkeys,chickens,ducks,rabbits,guinea pigs, and a cat. A fact for you is the donkeys are mother and son and we have 70 animals here.


The farm has a small but reasonable charity shop which is located inside the reception area. Weve got a variety of vegetables and fruit which is grown and sold in the farm shop.


We've got a variety of users who work on the farm, they are volunteers. We've got a number of trustees who support the farm. If you want to work out your arma and legs to build up a sweat then work here!!!


Be great to see new comers like yourself, visiting us here at the farm and share either breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea in the Cedar Tea Room, where you can meet my family, the Owen family.







   Georgia's Story

My name is Georgia and I have Dysgraphia which is a learning disability which affects my writing and communication skills.

I live with my mum and dad, brother Josef, my dog ‘Amber’, my cat and 2 fish. I love animals and take ‘Amber’ to dog agility competitions and I am a Rainbow Leader for a group of young children.

About a year ago my dad took me to Heathrow Special Needs Centre to see what they do. I loved the animals but I was really quiet and did not say anything.  I started going there for one day a week which in time increased to 3-4 days a week.

I helped to look after the animals and the year I had already spent at Berkshire College of Agriculture learning Animal Management was a great help.


I made new friends at the Centre and did lots of other things. I love horses and the Centre does horse riding for people with disabilities and I helped with the side walking. The Centre has a Reception and I helped by being a tour guide for visitors and people who wanted to know more about the place. 

My dad taught me about computers, when I was little, and I like working with them so I was able to help the Centre with spreadsheets and I learned how to do reception work and operate the cash register.

 I now have confidence when meeting and talking to people which is great for job interviews and have become a bit of a chatterbox.

I recently got my very first job and work for Tesco in one of their warehouses. The feeling of independence and earning money is really good.

I am very grateful to the staff and volunteers at the Centre and I still help them out in my spare time.



  Lenard's Story

I have been unemployed for over 2 years and I am currently on a 6 month voluntary work placement arranged through the Job Centre which I hope will help me get a job. I have dyslexia which affects my confidence and communication. I have a full time role at the Centre with personal responsibilities working with the animals and helping other people with special needs. I now have the confidence to help with the horse riding. I am a 'tour guide' for visitors and will shortly be shown reception work and how to operate the cash register. I am also to help manage the new 'not for profit' cafe. My placement ends in January and the confidence and benefits I now have from working in such a great place are really going to help me in job interviews and I'll keep coming back to help out in my spare time.     From Lenard

Lenard was placed with us back last summer through a course arranged by his job centre to help him with his social and interactive skills to be safely and confidently able to go out into the community to find work. He started on the farm working voluntarily, mostly with the small animals, and developing his care skills and interaction with clients. After some months of Lenard developing a huge amount of confidence we gave him the opportunity to help with our riding school horses and clients on our horse riding days. Lenard found this very rewarding and learnt not only to interact with our animals but also learnt communicative skills amongst our service users which gave him great confidence allowing him to be able to cope with job interviews.

We offered Lenard the chance to have a ride on one of the horses himself but he was far from ready as he was still very nervous about riding, due to an incident that had occurred some years ago with horses.
Lenard completed his placement with us in January this year but comes back on Mondays to help us with riding lessons. A couple of weeks ago, after lessons had finished, I asked Lenard if he wanted to ride and to my complete surprise he replied "yes please".  Lenard got onto Red, one of our school horses, and was literally trembling as he sat there. I stood with him for ten minutes while he was able to relax and try to let his fears pass. Within 15 minutes Lenard was being led around the arena, comfortably, and so relaxed it was amazing to see.
Well done Lenard and Good luck for the future!       From Allison (Horse Riding Instructor)

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