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Sarah Lopez

Director

Sarah has always had a love for all animals especially horses since a young age and has owned them for the last 23 years. She is a qualified level three Senco and teaching assistant and has worked as a Senco in schools for over 13 years within many settings and working alongside various ages and needs. Sarah has completed Animal Assisted Therapy Course and many others including CBT, Counselling, Trauma, Horse Psychology, Animal communication, PTSD , Autism and many more. Sarah always believes you can never know enough about your work so is often doing another course to extend her knowledge to support the individuals she works with. She started Kingswood Shetlands as she saw the effect that animals had on children from disadvantaged backgrounds and with SEN. Her pony obsession started when she rescued two miniatures and the gang has grown from then. Her aims are to help young people be able to cope more in the every day lives they are living, be compassionate and be the best person they can.

 
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Rhianna

Animal Welfare Manager and Animal Assisted Therapist 

Rhianna has followed in her Mum's footsteps and shares her passion for helping others. Rhianna has extensive knowledge of equines and has achieved her level 3 in Equine and Animal management with a distinction. She was in training to be a jockey but an accident stopped her achieving her passion in riding race horses. Rhianna has managed many professional yards to a high standard and animal welfare is a big passion of hers. She makes sure our animals are kept healthy and exercised. She went on to qualify as a football coach and has worked with all ages and levels including SEN. She took her animal assisted therapy exam and again passed with distinction. She is amazing working 1-1 with young people offering animal therapy intervention and builds a true bond with the individuals and helps them overcome and achieve their life goals.

 
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Nicola 

Event  Staff

Nicola is a good friend of Sarah's and started her journey with us volunteering helping out as a friend. Nicola is a huge animal lover and owns many of her own animals including one of the therapy Valais sheep called Theo. She now runs the parties along with Claire and her passion is to make all child’s dreams come true. She is often found helping at the yard to care for the animal’s needs and getting stuck in. She works part time at an insurance company so her attention to customer care is an essential tool in delivering the best parties. Nicola has completed her animal assisted therapy diploma to expand her knowledge on what Kingswood Shetlands do as a company. Nicola loves attending the care home visits with us and being a listening ear and to chat to the elderly that benefit so much from our visits. She knows our animals inside and out and their individual personalities and an asset to the K.S team.

 
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Jo

Administration

Jo deals with our website and helps out with admin. She is passionate about animals and she loves all of our animals but especially Bo and Baloo! She has adopted Roo, one of our African Pygmy Hedgehogs, who is now retired due to her age so enjoys cuddling and looking after her!

 
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Claire

Event staff

Claire joined the team in April 2019 and quotes ” I love Kingswood Shetlands & Friends and consider myself very lucky! Spending time with Sarah, the team members and the animals is a joy and a privilege. Seeing the children enjoying their experience with the animals is priceless”.

 When Claire first applied for the job she was slightly nervous of the different animals. Her confidence grew after every visit and job she attended with us and before long she became a valuable member of our team. Claire’s background is working in a nursery setting as a manger and completing their admin. She also has a young family of her own. Claire has also done her Animal Assisted Therapy diploma to expand her knowledge on the benefits of this intervention.

 
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Wendy

SEN Events Staff

Wendy is our newest team member. She runs Life Force Support Ltd alongside our dear friend Dawn Harvey for SEN families providing amazing spaces for them within their homes and gardens, adapting and making a calming environment with accessibility for every individual. She is often running fundraisers along with Dawn to support our Community Interest Company (C.I.C) to be able to continue the good work we do.
Wendy has 25 years experience in SEN having her own child Sam for 25 years, who had many challenging needs before he sadly passed away after a caring and fulfilled life. Wendy is passionate about her job with us and has the empathy needed to do this kind of work. She has completed her Animal Therapy Diploma with distinction, which she is very proud of. Wendy attends residential care events and SEN settings with us and has been amazing and a quick learner around the animals. She is happy to lead even the most challenging of our ponies. She is an asset to our team.

 
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Volunteers

Volunteers are much needed by us as a community interest company to help with cleaning up after the animals in the fields and keeping the animals fit. It’s very rewarding and obviously in return you get animal cuddles and to give back to supporting our community work.
Carolyn and her family including Emily have volunteered for us for a while. They check the animals for us on a Saturday morning and take them for a lovely walk ,whatever the weather may be. Emily has also worked for us on many occasions and is studying hard to be able to go to university to study Animal Assisted Therapy as a degree.