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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.

Tommy

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Mark

 

 

 

 

   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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