Once again with thanks to The Rothschild Foundation, some of our members had a memorable day out at Animal Antiks. For those of you who don’t know, Animal Antiks is a charity that offers animal-assisted learning to support young people with diverse needs either individually or in groups. They also open their farm to groups like ours to experience what they provide and support their funding. To quote their website:
“Our charity is all about combining animals, people and nature, learning respect, care and compassion in each element of our daily tasks. We treat every person and their needs individually and aim to inspire and encourage their best qualities whilst supporting difficulties and teaching boundaries to enhance their life skills. Animals provide a great way to break down barriers and provide structure to daily activities, they are rewarding and unconditional with their love – an environment in which our young people thrive.”
Our day started with a picnic under clear blue skies with the sun beating down – the heat alone would have floored a lesser group but everyone soldiered on.
We followed this with a tour, meeting sheep, pigs, llamas, goats, horses (including miniature horses), guinea pigs, rabbits and chickens. Everywhere our members were able to touch, pet, feed and hold these animals – evidence of how wonderfully well Animal Antiks looks after its stock. We also were shown four surprisingly active piglets who had been born only the day before.
Without doubt, the highlight of the day was our walk with the alpacas. These gentle, intelligent and surprisingly tolerant animals – each with its own distinct character – were happy to be bridled and walked as a group around the farm. The kindly staff who came with us were friendly and knowledgeable, answering all our questions on the animals and their place on the farm.
In all it was an uplifting experience, made even better by the support we received from Animal Antiks’ people (especially our lovely host, Rachel, pictured here in the purple shirt). An exhausting but unforgettable day.