We visit schools across Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire, working with Inclusion Teams, Support Workers, Speech Therapists, Teachers, Occupational Therapists and Educational Psychologists to design and facilitate individually tailored goal-orientated therapeutic programmes, with key focuses;
- Dog phobia programmes – supporting children with step-by-step person-centred sessions for overcoming phobias of dogs – a difficulty that impacts on their day-to-day lives and access to services in their community.
- Animal and Land-Based Assisted Education – supporting children with regular lesson plans to support their Individual Learning Plans and life-skill development.
- Animal-Assisted Therapy – when working in a 121 scenario with a therapist assisting.
With a range of commissioning schools, councils, and grant funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, we have been able to deliver a range of Animal-Assisted Education and Therapeutic Horticulture programmes to primary schools, secondary schools, SEN schools, academies, alternative education provisions, and Colleges.
Outcomes examples include;
- Facilitating healthier family relationships
- Improving concentration levels
- Growing self-confidence
- Building social skills, resilience and problem-solving abilities
- Developing aspiration for brighter futures across the community
- Increasing responsibility caring for others.
- Gaining greater awareness of how their behaviour affects others and themselves.
Highlighted in a presentation by Aaron Burgess, Assistant Educational Psychologist, Kisimul School, 5th September 2016; Working with People and Animals – The Benefits of Animal-Assisted Intervention Programmes for Children and Young People at Kisimul School, he concludes with a quote from one of the parents of the pupils involved in the sessions;
“We are so happy that G was given the opportunity to be part of dog therapy. We cannot tell you how life changing this has been for him and us as a family. We have had years of G shutting himself in our family beach hut as he has been to scared to come into the beach for fear of dogs… Last weekend our little man played in the sea for over 3 hours!!! (on and off) I was so happy I could have cried!!! Dogs passed him by and he coped so well! Previously this would have resulted in G pulling his hair out screaming crying and trying to climb on our back! We feel blessed that Kisimul took on board our concerns and allowed this programme to take place. I feel sure that G could progress even further and maybe stroke and walk a dog. But for now we are just grateful that he has had this opportunity and are so happy for you to share this success with anyone you wish.”
(G’s Mother, July 2016)