A half term with furry friends for the children at our Ashdown Centre 9th November, 2020 Children at our Ashdown Centre enjoyed a half term packed with exciting activities last week, including a visit from some furry friends. The centre’s Ashdown Club service was excited to be visited by Our Amazing Animal World, an organisation of animal lovers who offer a home to unwanted animals and create an educational and hands-on experience for children. The team brought with them an array of creatures, including a meerkat, skinny pig, hedgehog, chinchilla and bearded dragon. The children were ecstatic to see them, delighted to be able to pet, hold and even have them perch on their shoulders. An Ashdown Club member with a skinny pig The Ashdown Centre provides respite care for families with children and young adults who have learning disabilities and other complex needs. The centre’s Ashdown Club service offers short breaks for children aged 5-12 with a variety of conditions, including autism, epilepsy and other associated learning disabilities. The centre was able to return to face-to-face sessions in September, having been closed due to Covid-19 but have since reopened their doors at reduced capacity for up to six children per session. More Ashdown Club members with their furry friends Natalie Finn, the Ashdown Centre’s Manager, said: “It was a long six months of being shut and it was so nice to see the children in person again. All of them have adapted very well to returning and accepted the extra Covid-19 procedures. It is just a shame we have only been able to return to 50% capacity, so we cannot offer all families respite at this time. “All of the children on the session really enjoyed the variety of creatures and they sat really nicely and appeared to engage well with all of the animals. It was so lovely to see all their smiles. It was a good session to end the half term holiday on!” For more information about the Ashdown Centre and its services, please visit its web page: www.guildcare.org/ashdown-centre.