Project information

Animals Supporting Vulnerable People

At Amelia Trust Farm we have an excellent track record of supporting disadvantaged and vulnerable young people. We want to extend our support to include animal assisted therapies working with emotionally intelligent animals such as donkeys to produce additional educational social and health benefits

January 2016 - December 2016

Charity information

The Amelia Methodist Trust Company Limited

The Amelia Methodist Trust Company Limited logo
  • Need


    Young people aged 11–16 years who have suffered abuse or neglect or are statemented with neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD or autism often find mainstream educational environments too intimidating and they stop engaging in learning. They think that society has given up on them and feel worthless and that life has nothing to offer them. Without the right type of care and support this highly vulnerable group enter adulthood without the life skills people need to cope let alone succeed.


    Our project helps young people to develop behavioural, emotional and social skills to enable them to be better equipped when regaining control of their lives. Animal assisted therapies help improve self-esteem and mood where individuals are feeling angry, depressed and tense. Our aim is to increase motivation and self worth so that there is a greater willingness to re-engage with education and training and to get their lives back on the right path and to find employment on leaving education.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To deliver animal assisted therapies as part of an alternative education programme to young people.


    » Run thirty sessions with vulnerable and disadvantaged young people aged 11-16 working with emotionally intelligent animals such as donkeys.
    » To involve young people in the care and welfare of the animals.

    Success will be at least 80% of our young people returning to school or moving onto further education, employment or training.

  • Impact


    The project will help young people realise that there are alternatives to crime and drugs and that they have choices in their lives. It will empower and motivate these hard-to-reach individuals to re-engage with learning and develop skills to help them succeed. The value of setting the feet of a young person on the right path is priceless developing individuals who will contribute to their community as opposed to being a cost to society. Case studies of young people are developed to show impact


    There is a risk that some of the young people may become aggressive and present a danger to themselves, to others and to the animals. All staff are trained in MAPA (Managing Actual and Potential Aggression) techniques to keep staff, young people and the animals safe. In addition relevant staff will also be trained in handling and caring for the donkeys by experts from the Donkey Sanctuary. Financial risks are mitigated by a fundraising plan to ensure sustainability.


    Donors will receive a quarterly email report on progress throughout the project. In addition donors will be invited to a special event at the end of the academic year where they will be able to meet some of the young people and hear about the impact that the project has had on their lives.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £14,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £13,000 Staff costs Delivery of alternative education
      £1,000 Animal care Looking after animals as part of the alternative education programme
  • Background


    Amelia Trust Farm is a 160 acre site which includes 28 acres of woodland, children's play areas, sportshall, café, camping facilities and a 30 bed bunkhouse in the Vale of Glamorgan. Although in a rural setting, the Farm is close to one of the largest towns in Wales, Barry with a population of 51,502 (2011 Census), the capital city of Wales, Cardiff with a population of 346,090 (2011 Census) and Bridgend with a population of 49,400 (2011 Census) where a number of areas of deprivation exist.


    Disadvantaged and vulnerable young people aged 11-16 years will benefit from this project. In particular those who have suffered abuse or neglect or who are disabled due to an impairment that is physical, cognitive, intellectual, mental, sensory or developmental. As well as these individuals this project will also benefit the local community including adults with learning disabilities who volunteer in the gardens and who enjoy the natural beauty of Amelia Trust Farm and the seeing the animals.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Amelia Trust Farm has 25 years’ experience in delivering alternative education programmes to disadvantaged and vulnerable young people. Our programmes are based on a high level of pastoral support with the welfare of the young people always top on our agenda. Having a child-centred approach on a farm provides a therapeutic setting where young people feel safe and secure. This project will have an underpinning emotional intelligence theme to help individuals to express their feelings and needs.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Malcolm Jones

    With 22 years' experience in youth work, Mal will lead and develop the animal assisted therapies as part of our alternative education programmes.

    Charlotte Clark

    Charlotte will deliver the animal assisted therapies to young people.

    Karen Turnbull

    Karen will manage the project to ensure that funders are kept informed of developments and that objectives are delivered on time and within budget.