In Impact Stories, Physical & mental health, wellbeing & safety, Multiple districts

Project: Sessions during the school holidays
Grant: £4,940
Fund: HoB general

Animal Antiks work with children and young adults who are either out of main-stream education or have learning difficulties to build their skills and confidence. They were awarded a grant of £4,940 to run 16 animal assisted learning sessions during the school holidays for various local groups and organisations.

The groups supported included Florries, Child Breavement UK, Aylesbury Vales National Autistic society, GRASPS autism support group, Puzzle Centre and Quarrendon Friday lunch club. Each session lasted two hours and was based on their 250 acre farm in North Marston along with their large animal family of alpacas, horses, ponies, donkeys, goats, pigs, chickens, ducks, sheep and dogs.

Through this project, Animal Antiks supported over 200 people. Their ‘fun on the farm’ sessions included activities such as grooming, feeding, animal encounters, walking the animals, collecting the eggs as well as craft activities and a wheelbarrow agility course. They also ran ‘walk and talk’ sessions, predominantly aimed at adults, which included an opportunity to meet the animals and then go for an hour’s walk around the farm with some of them.

“It’s a fantastic place with kind and understanding staff. It’s nice to relax and let your kids enjoy themselves in their own way.”

– Anonymous feedback

Case study

One teenage boy, who suffers from ASD and anxiety attended with a couple of family members. He had been experiencing high anxiety, low self-confidence and was feeling isolated, which had been heightened following a family bereavement. His aim was to work in animal care in the future but had been unable to pursue this desire. Having attended the session with his family and as he enjoyed the encounters and activities with the animals it prompted him thinking about his future. Since his session he has now volunteered at the farm to gain more experience in looking after the animals.