Meet the Team

Meet the Team

Sarah Shearman – Founder

“My mum has fostered children for as long as I can remember, in both Australia and England.  My parents currently have eight foster adults living with them on a permanent basis; six of them are on the Autistic Spectrum.  I have been brought up with them, lived with them and travelled the world with them to places such as Europe and America. I feel that I want to carry on in my mum’s footsteps, by giving to others and providing them opportunities to lead big and full lives. 

I want to work with children, families, professionals, volunteers and the horses.  Setting up Autism Angels is my way of continuing this work, giving back as I have received so much from being with my extended family and transforming lives. I am deeply grateful to my parents for all the rich opportunities they have given me and I just want to be able to offer these opportunities to others, alongside Autism Angels.

I also run a company called Learning to Listen. This company provides support for adults, professionals, corporate clients and everyone in between, alongside our work with horses.”

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Joanne Richardson – Director of the Southern Centre

I direct the Southern centre for the organisation and I’m one of our senior coaches.

Based in Hertfordshire, less than 1 hour from London, we host and co-facilitate the Southern courses as well as offering developmental coaching in one-one and group sessions from our beautiful farm.

Having built a successful London based recruitment and HR consultancy company, my breadth of knowledge is perfectly placed to support both individual’s seeking personal growth, whilst also working directly with leaders and teams to assist in planning team development strategies for enhanced performance.



Nicki Hall – Mentoring Lead (North)

“When I was growing up, my grandparents provided respite for children who had disabilities, so I spent most weekends playing on their farm with different children, with different abilities. This gave me the gift of growing up with the belief that a disability or label does not make a person different, and meant that I saw no limitations to their lives. I then entered the world of social care and became a manager of support services for adults with learning difficulties. Whilst I enjoyed this work and got so much enjoyment from watching people thrive and start to lead their lives independently, I couldn’t help but feel restricted by the environments and politics of this world.

In 2013, I joined Autism Angels as one of their volunteers and loved watching the families blossom in an honest and accepting environment. My passion for empowering people and enabling independence also flourished on the farm and I joined the team as the Mentoring Lead; working with families to enable them to lead more harmonious and authentic lives.”


Jo Osborn – Mentoring Lead (South)

“I am an open and relaxed coach and mentor and pride myself on taking a holistic approach in both my personal and professional life.  I believe that we all have the right to lead big and fulfilling lives and that we always have everything we need to hand, if we choose to see it and use it. 

I have been involved with Autism Angels since 2012 and work with children and their families on their journey of personal discovery, where each and every family member gets to explore who they are and how they see themselves in the world.  Using powerful Equine Facilitated Learning models my clients experience what it is like to take responsibility for their own lives and by making positive choices can make changes to lead their lives from a place of self-empowered beliefs.

Working with Autism Angels enables me to share my passion for both horses and for empowering others to help them find their true inner selves.

I hold the ILM Level 5 Certificate in Coaching and Leadership Mentoring and a Lantra Awarded Equine Facilitated Coaching Certificate.  I also work as a holistic therapist for Haelan Therapy in association with Learning to Listen, based at the Southern Centre.”

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Rebecca Kelly – Mentoring Support and Holistic Therapy Lead (South)

“I have been involved with Autism Angels since 2013 and hold a Level 5 Coaching and Mentoring qualification with the Institute of Leadership and Management and a Lantra Awarded Equine Facilitated Coaching Certificate.  I work alongside Jo Osborn and Jo Richardson to support the Mentoring Programme and Family Fun Days.  As the founder of Haelan Therapy which works in association with Learning to Listen and Autism Angels and provides holistic treatments in massage, reflexology and energy healing, it is my wish to use my experience as a holistic therapist to help support not only the children, but also parents and carers too.  As a highly qualified therapist, it is my belief that when people look after their wellbeing, raise their awareness of and release deep emotional self-limiting beliefs, they can ultimately become the very best they can be both for themselves and for those around them.”   

For more information about Haelan Therapy at the Learning to Listen Centre, please visit

Autism Angels Meet the Team