The following testimony is from a mother with two children on the Autistic Spectrum who attended one of our Open Days for families living with Autism and now volunteers with her whole family.
"I would like to write something about our experience at your Owl and Pussycat Centre and I will do so here!
Firstly Thank you very much for a really fantastic afternoon and early evening experience which we all had.
It started with us arriving to this incredibly peaceful and beautiful location which had the children enamoured from the beginning, the space and freedom to explore which was extremely evident and encouraged roaming within very safe boundaries.
The introduction to staff was gentle and the children took to everyone very quickly, by staff I refer to all the amazing helpers who were around.
As the rules were given out, they were minimal and said in such a way which the kids could retain and respond to, there was definite evidence of this because the behaviour from everyone was consistently appropriate.
The birds were brought out very gradually and the kids were in awe from the beginning, even more so when the realisation occurred that they could touch, stroke and even handle the birds.
There was a calmness in the room which was amazing when we think of the types of disability which many of the children and young adults have.
Even the mix of ages worked incredibly well, maybe this was better because there were varying degrees of maturity amongst the visitors, rather than the potential clamouring which can exist if they are all a similar age.
were amazing with the children and the children with the birds, the respect which the helpers gave to the birds most definitely had an effect on the respect which the children then gave to the birds. It was very interesting to watch!
when thinking of this group of youngsters who were tearing around
outside and probably wouldn't have taken a great deal of notice
listening to our instructions to then see the transformation when they
were in the presence of the birds and handling them. The behaviour was
noticeably poles apart!
The walk around the
grounds which we went on was charming, when the children carried the
birds. The interaction and conversations which could take
place were on a completely different level to the normal situation for
us, as the children internally were in a very calm
When we returned and the birds were put safely in their homes, you provided a lovely spread of food which meant the visitors were
able to continue conversing with each other in a very calm manner. Of
course hand washing was carried out first and everyone
instantly and willingly complied with this which I know is not always the case!
The kids then went on to see the dogs and puppies which they also loved doing.
Personally, I am very grateful for this experience, it gave me an insight as a parent of children with disabilities into another area of their personality's and characters which I may never have witnessed without this opportunity, I hope we can visit for many years to come. I really like the idea of encouraging the children to come and do supervised voluntary work, as I feel this
would teach them so much. Many thanks again and look forwards to seeing you soon.