My family and I have lived in Sapcote for the past 15 years, prior to that we lived in Burbage. As a child I was born and raised in Nuneaton.
I left school at 15 and stated working in the hosiery industry, where I continued for 18 years. During this time my partner Chris and I had our daughter Zoe. We fostered and cared for a number of children. When I was 33 I decided to look into making my dream career a reality. We had our son Daniel and with an enterprise allowance of £35.00 a week I bought an old farmhouse in Nuneaton and opened a children’s nursery. This business has been running successfully for the past 22 years and in April 2013 we received an ‘outstanding’ rating from Ofsted.
As an experienced family in childcare and education with a strong emphasis on SEN, we consider ourselves to be a family who can give young adults and their families a better chance.
My family and I have lived on Leicester Road Sapcote for the past 15 years. We decided to move to Sapcote in search of more outdoor living, at the time our son Daniel was only 6 and had quite extensive learning difficulties. Daniel’s dog Zef really helped with his interaction and emotional behaviour, the more their bond grew the better Daniel seemed to function, we believed that more outdoor space would enable us to have a few other animals to help Daniel learn and develop the important life skills he desperately needed.
We started off with a pony, a goat and some rabbits. Instantly you could see the difference in Daniel, his concentration and his ability to enjoy a task grew. Over the next five years Daniel continued to develop but struggled in normal learning environments and with what we would consider a normal situation, such as going to the shop. After lots of testing we discovered Daniel had Dyspraxia and Dyslexia, both of these things affected him greatly in his childhood, from normal day to day routines, to learning and retaining new skills such as money and telling the time.
We started to worry about how this would affect Daniel as he grew into adulthood and how he would fair in employment. We worked closely with the Dyspraxia association and having seen first hand how hard it has been to get Daniel work in any form, be it voluntary, paid or apprentice, and how hard he still finds college or distant learning, we decided to try and offer other children, young adults and their families a different route.
Hopefully the young adults will be able to learn in various areas, animal care, agricultural conservation, leisure management, hospitality and catering, to mention just a few. It is my goal to be able to not just teach and train but also to offer employment and career prospects.
After receiving our full planning permission in July 2014, we finally opened our gates to the paying public on Saturday 9th August 2014. During this time we have continued to offer our weekly ‘Mums n Tots’ sessions, Childminders’ groups and Senior Citizens Day as well as holding children’s birthday parties and fun days out for families.
We already have over 200 animals spanning over 36 species: Dexter Cows, Coony Coon Pigs, Ducks, Chickens, Thoroughbred Horses, Ponies, Reindeer, Japanese Sake Dear, Peacocks, Bantis, Frazzles, Marlins, Barn Owl, Rheas, Guinea Fowl, Turkey, South Down Baby Doll Sheep, Bora Goats, Sinne Goats, Angora Goat, Shetland Pony, Miniature Shetlands, Alpacas, Continental Rabbits, Giant Flops, Guinea Pig, Kakariki Birds, Massarelli Pig, Giant Tortoise, Giant Cockroaches.
This year we have had a number of babies born on our site, two of those are reindeer, born in May. Mums and calves are all doing well. We are also expecting a number of other babies to be born soon; Goats, Sheep, Alpacas, Piglets, Cows.
It’s an exciting time as my ‘dream’ continues to grow year on year!