The Working Animals Compilation episode of Countryfile aired on our screens on Sunday 25 June 2017 on BBC One. This episode focused on how animals, such as alpacas, can help people with autism and other behavioural issues.
Throughout 2017 Disabled Living are celebrating 120 years of delivering services. We will be celebrating our heritage, raising our profile and developing our services. What a tremendous achievement for a charity that was established to be kind to donkeys!
In 1897 our charity was established as the Band of Kindness and Children’s Help Society, to encourage children to be kind to animals and in turn their fellow citizens. The charity organised an annual Donkey parade. So animals helping children has always been something that inspires us.
Our story for this month is about a man named Chris Deakin
Chris seen a particular episode of Countryfile eight years ago and was impressed by a story featuring alpacas. He became so inspired by the story behind it that he decided to become a full-time alpaca breeder. In this episode we see Ellie Harrison who visits Chris to see his very own farm, known as Leicestershire Farm.
We are taken through a discovery of how alpacas can help children with autism and other behavioural issues. Alpaca therapy gives a calming effect to autistic children as it helps them to gain trust, de-stress themselves from any worry, and find a sense of peace by being around them.
Alpacas are known to be very gentle; they enjoy being hugged and stroked which of course causes them to smile. They like to make friends with other animals and human beings, especially children. And their high level of intelligence makes it easier to see what’s going on around them. This is what makes alpaca therapy a good option.
During this episode you can also see how studying bees can be beneficial to children. We are able to see children from San Sior primary school in Llandudno being taken on an exciting adventure to explore the life of bees.
Alongside the discussion of honey extraction, the children are taken through some of the benefits of bee keeping. It is believed by some people that bee therapy can reduce stress as you come closer to the nature of their lives and enjoy looking after the honey.
Other areas of the lives of different animals are discussed including birds, beavers, horses and worms. The episode is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.