Autism Angels

Sarah Kekoa

Hi there. I founded Autism Angels after working with so many amazing families and inspiring children. I could see the benefits for everyone being in nature and working with the animals, especially the horses. I just love being outside, having fun with the children and supporting the amazing parents. I love the community we’re creating at Autism Angels and can’t wait to see you all down on the farm soon for lots of love and laughter.

Amanda Whittaker

I am Amanda – and I am an Autism Angels Facilitator and the Safeguarding Lead.

For many years, I have been a Special Needs Teacher and Teacher in Charge of an Enhanced Mainstream School for children with Communication and Interaction needs – supporting children with autism in 41 primary schools.

I have volunteered with Autism Angels for several years and enjoy spending time out on the farm – especially when the sun shines! Blackjack holds a special place in my heart.

I have a lovely young dog, called Ziggy, who I am hoping will become part of the team when he is fully trained.

Yvonne Wrist

I found Autism Angels in early 2018 – drawn to them by both my lifetime passion and experience with horses and my personal links to autism with a (then) recently diagnosed child.

The opportunity to volunteer and learn with them at a time of massive life re-evaluation quickly led me to leave my job of 25+ years (leadership, risk and regulation in financial services) to focus on my family and requalify as a Life and Equine Facilitated Coach. I welcomed the invite to become part of the Autism Angels team during 2019.

Being able to use my personal experience and ever-increasing knowledge & skills to facilitate sessions supporting incredible families on their journeys, whilst also helping our horses stay healthy and happy, is a dream role for me. You’ll often find me in the field, horse container or hay trailer as well as in sessions! Working with the horses and nature to help children and their families connect, with themselves as well as with each other, and witnessing the breakthroughs in communication and mental health improvement is something that I’ll never tire of.

Katharine Hammond

Hi I’m Katharine. I am the Business Support Manager for Autism Angels, I manage the office and day to day enquiries. I first became involved with Autism Angels with my daughter who is autistic. As a parent myself I understand the challenges families can face. I am delighted to now be part of the team in supporting other parents and families.

Sarah Ellis

I have been working in the horse industry all my working life and have been fascinated with learning about different approaches to horse behaviour, especially after experiencing a problem with my own horse Timmy. I was blown away that I could learn to understand what he was truly trying to tell me and listen to him in his own language and that working with his natural reactions could help us form a partnership built on trust and communication and love. This led me to becoming involved with Autism Angels where the skills I had learnt from the horses about non-verbal communication helped me work with the children and their families.