Monthly Archives: June 2017

The Power of Contracting

Recently a family attended a 6 week coaching programme with me and I wanted to share a little bit of their journey and transformation with you.

The parents were really struggling at home and their children were ruling the roost. They had two children; one child was neurotypical and their other child had a diagnosis of Autism amongst other things. The Mum and Dad struggled significantly with the bedtime routines and they hadn’t actually slept in the same bed for two years because they always had to sleep with their children otherwise the kids would stay up all night!

To start with, I spent some time coaching the parents so that they could think about what they wanted their lives to look like, what was important to them individually, as a couple and a family. We want to make sure they were on the same page and working together when we introduced new ideas to their children. We then brought the children into the sessions and I introduced the concept of contracting and taught everyone how to be fair so they could meet everyone’s emotional and physical needs, whilst ensuring that routines and safety measurements were in place. Contracting is such a big part of creating a harmonious household; just like we have contracts in other parts of our lives to keep things fair for all such as work, phones etc. Whilst they do not need to look as detailed and “legal” as these other contracts, they are a great way of laying out expectations and exploring what being part of the family is about for each individual. Creating a family contract is a fun and rewarding experience when you have the support and guidance in place to succeed.

After the family had been taught to contract, they could then work to create a contract specifically for the bedtime routine. The parents had the same picture in their head of how the routine should look, but they were able to be flexible on aspects that were important to the children and by the end of the session together they had created a routine that worked for everyone. They left the session with an agreement to practice this over the following week and bring their learning to the next session.

The following week the family arrived and the parents couldn’t wait to tell me what a success the routine had been whilst the children were overjoyed with the fact they had slept in their own beds all by themselves for the full week!

In one week I had watched a family go from fighting, exhausted and fed up – to happy, connected and laughing together, all through the power of contracting.

Nicki x

Our Family Coaching sessions are an opportunity for families to access a 6 week, one to one coaching programme, we have seen a huge increase in the amount of families accessing them. They are fantastic because they are designed around you and your family’s needs and have such in depth learning that transformation is the only possible outcome. If you’d like more information or to come to the farm for taster session to see how these programmes work please contact Nicki at

Welcome to Easthall Farm

Well we have been at Easthall Farmhouse for almost 2 years now! For those of you who are new to our news, this move saw the official opening of the Southern Centre – the second Learning to Listen and Autism Angels Centre. We have certainly come a long way in that time and it’s actually great for me to take a breather and reflect on our journey.

Over the period we have trained 3 intakes of volunteers, built relationships with some great schools and many local families who have joined us for mentoring programmes, Warrior programmes and lots of rich one-one coaching sessions.

Our close partnership with Haelan Therapy goes from strength to strength. The relationship of physical holistic therapy working in partnership with our Equine Therapy is a powerful combination indeed, it only serves to help support our clients on many levels.

autism-farm-londonThe farm has had a huge investment of love, time and money! It now boasts a beautiful 19th century barn enabling us to carry on in all weathers. Our purpose-built outside pens also create safe spaces for all who visit us. We can ensure with the investment in facilities that all our clients can interact with horses within their comfort levels.

Our lovely equine herd has recently grown to six – (see a bit more news on our new addition ‘Bonnie’ )

This month we have also been busy planting up a veggie garden that has been transformed. Nutritional, healthy and natural food is something as a team we are motivated to introduce the benefits of. This all contributes to our commitment to further grow the reach of our truly holistic approach designed to help all our clients create healthy balanced lives for themselves and their families…. So watch this space for more on that in the coming weeks and months!

With one Warrior foundation programme coming to an end in July we have another cohort of excited clients starting their Warrior journey’s in June. This one will be facilitated by Rebecca Kelly and Jo Osborn – time for me to step sideways on this occasion enabling my team to put all their training, knowledge and wisdom in place for our newest Warrior clients.

teacher-training-autism-londonWith 10 Head Teachers from London, and a lovely team of 25 from Weybourn Care attending Team Development Days in the next few weeks, we have a busy month ahead.

For me personally I have decided it is time to finish what I started and am looking to step into the Level 7 IML programme this month. So back to being a student in the Northern Centre for the next few months for me! – I have no doubt that I’ll have lots to share in future newsletters on this part of my journey!

Jo R. xx




Family Fun Day with Wycombe Care

Last month saw us launch our first Fun Family Day of the year, with a new team of volunteers and a new group of teenagers.   As the children were older we used the opportunity to test out some of the exercises from our Enrichment Day model, which looked at building strong relationships with ourselves and our team members, including our equine friends and learning how to be a strong leader.   After a refuel we rode out and focused on practising all that had been learnt in the morning which allowed the staff to step back and see their children flourish and have a go at working it out for themselves. Our new volunteers flew the flag for Autism Angels proudly putting into practice all that they had learnt in their training.

Our taster events continue to grow from strength to strength and we have welcomed some lovely groups of people with varying interests to the farm over the past few months.   Don’t miss out these great opportunities to come along to the farm and find out what we do. Our next event is on Saturday 10th June.


Meet Bonnie, the newest member of the team

Our new herd member Bonnie has settled in as one of the herd extremely well. She brings a lovely calm energy to the herd, and at 14’2 is just the perfect size for me and for some of our children that are growing and becoming too big for our smaller ponies.

Bonnie has ridden out without a care in the world, taking the farm machinery, ducks, the goose and all the inquisitive bulls in her stride. Last week she worked with one of my students and presented a fantastic opportunity to explore how we meet and welcome new people in our life, and how we can project all our fears and perceptions on to them. Bonnie stood up to the challenge and offered some supportive softness whilst our student gained confidence and trusted herself with this new relationship. I think Bonnie is going to bring lots of love and learning to the Southern team.