What we want to do
Options in Life is seeking funding to run a new educational course for young people with learning disabilities in Fife. The course will be run in collaboration with Bowbridge Alpacas Scotland and will take place over a six week period. Fifteen young people (aged 18-30) with learning disabilities will take part in the course. During that time they will be supported by our staff whilst being led by instructors as they learn about and care for Alpacas. They will get a hands-on experience with many aspects of the Alpaca’s care including feeding, foot care, herding, shearing, teeth trimming, worming, transporting and more. They will also learn about the animals including their behaviour, wool, pasture management, training, food and nutrition.
Why we want to do it
The typical circumstances of the young people with learning disabilities that we serve are that they are isolated and disengaged from society, unemployed, without access to a regular social environment, disproportionately living below or close to the poverty line, have few or no qualifications, often have behavioural problems and are wholly dependent on family members as carers, providers and social companions. There are currently 90+ working age people with learning disabilities accessing our service per week and only 3 are in any form of employment. Animal husbandry is an excellent activity for engaging people with emotional problems and anxieties due to its therapeutic attributes. It is a subject which is extremely popular amongst our beneficiaries and one that has real potential to lead into further volunteering opportunities or even employment. We expect our project to improve mental welfare, build confidence, reduce social anxieties enhance attitudes towards self-worth and help ensure a brighter and more stable future.