Currently our donkeys are situated in a part of our Cornford Lane site in Pembury village that is not easily accessible to all we support or our many visitors. We would like to install a new purpose-built stable and enclosure at the nucleus of our site, situated close by the other animals and easily accessible to all. This will allow all we support and care for the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of caring for these beautiful animals and in addition to this the ability to visit them independently. The COVID pandemic has caused high levels of anxiety and stress for many of the people we support, having the opportunity to walk within the safe environment of our grounds and help care for or even just visit our animals during lockdown helped tremendously with the management of this. Being situated closer to the nucleus of our site will also allow the many other members of the public, local schools and organisations that visit us, enjoy these wonderful animals.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Our Cornford Lane site provides care and support to adults with learning disabilities, autism and complex needs and is situated in over a hundred acres of countryside in Pembury village, Kent. At Aspens, as part of a wide variety of educational and sporting activities we also offer the opportunity to be involved in the day to day care of a variety of animals, helping the people we support to learn about themselves and others at the same time, building trust, resilience and confidence. Taking care of animals, can also allow for the development of a better understanding of non-verbal communication, a vital skill for those with autism and learning disabilities. Our donkeys play a vital role in this but due to their current position many are unable to visit them. When we have been able to open to the public, our many visitors have also benefited from these opportunities, helping with mental health wellbeing during these challenging times for all of us.
Steps to get it done:
Raising awareness of the people we support and how we work to ensure that they live life to the full and are able to be involved in the local community is an important part of the work we do. To enable us to do this we provide site tours and talks to local schools, foreign colleges and local organisations. A valuable part of the tour is to take them to see our animals and explain to them the benefits that they bring in building an individuals confidence and independence. It also provides the opportunity for the people we support who may be caring for the animals at that time to talk to our visitors and share with them their experiences. We find this invaluable in raising awareness of learning disabilities and autism in a positive and engaging way. This also applies to the general public who visit us to enjoy our grounds and animals and whilst doing so have the opportunity to meet and talk with the people we support who are great ambassadors of their charity.
About the space
Our Cornford Lane site is situated in over 100 acres of beautiful countryside. We have a woodland walk with childrens play area, a variety of animals and a cafe that visitors and the people we support can enjoy.
Kent County Council
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