Elysian Animal Assisted Therapy and Learning

About Us

Elysian Animal Assisted Therapy and Learning C.I.C is an organisation that focuses on the therapeutic relationship and impact that animals can bring into our lives. We have one main site at Westland Farm in Guildford and currently planning the opening of two more sites in Surrey. Westland Farm is a 100 acre farm set in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  One of our important values on the farm is fostering a positive atmosphere as well as being honest and open.  Our passion is animal therapy and learning and you can read more about who works in our team below.  We all believe in the amazing positive impact equines and other animals can have on the way we experience and understand our world, our personal development and our relationships.

Our Team


Charlotte has worked in a variety of social care settings for many years, in many different roles.  Experience has mainly focussed on children, young people and their families and particularly in the area of emotional well-being.  Roles varied from working in an Early Years setting to working in and managing children’s homes, a ‘Family Specialist’ role and more recently managing a CAMHS Children’s Rights team for Surrey County Council.  Many of these roles have included training, facilitation, management and supervision.  Charlotte has had horses most of her life and has many years experience looking after her own and other people’s horses.

Charlotte’s Qualifications

  • Foundation Bsc Psychology and Counselling
  • BA (HONS) Psychology and Youth Studies
  • BA (HONS) Social Work
  • Post Grad Cert Managing in Health and Social Care
  • Post Grad Cert Critical Practice with Children and Young People
  • Advanced Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling
  • Animal Assisted Therapy Level 3 Practitioner
  • Certified Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAGALA)
  • PRINCE2 Project Management Advance Practitioner
  • Crisis Intervention Trainer, First Aid, Health and Safety level 2, Safeguarding, supervision and other relevant and certified training in health, social care and therapy areas.
  • DBS certificate and regular training undertaken with Surrey County Council (children’s services)


Dene has worked in Children’s Social Care for over 10 years, working in children’s homes and in social work.  He has worked within different teams in Surrey County Council, working with children, young people and families. Dene facilitates sessions with children and young people at the farm and has a fantastic track record of supporting his clients to change, develop and achieve. Dene has a variety of specialist training around attachment and child development and has also worked with a vast variety of presenting needs and behaviours.

Dene’s Qualifications

  • Certificate in Higher education in Social Work
  • Introduction to Equine Assisted Therapy and Facilitation (EAT/EAF)
  • Horse Awareness Certificate
  • BHS Level 1 Horse Care and Management
  • First Aid, Food Hygiene, Safeguarding Children and Families
  • DBS certificate and regular training undertaken with Surrey County Council (children’s services)


Jeremy is the Head of Education for Elysian, and has lots of varied experience through many years of working with young people and in different management roles. Jeremy is passionate about providing creative packages for young people, enabling learning through innovative projects and accessible methods for many whose traditional education has been particularly challenge.

Jeremy’s Bio coming soon.


Hannah is an experienced Occupational Therapist with a passion for working with people and animals. Her areas of specialism are autism and sensory integration. Hannah has experience of working with young adults with learning disabilities and enabling them to become more independent. She enjoys walking and nature, as well as spending time with her labradoodle and two cats.

Hannah’s Qualifications

  • BSc Occupational Therapy
  • Sensory Integration Level 2
  • Animal Assisted Therapy Diploma

Hannah’s experience includes

  • Supporting young people and adults with physical and learning disabilities at Camp in America. Activities included horse-riding, swimming and arts and crafts.
  • Providing rehabilitation to adults with long term neurological conditions in their own homes.
  • Working in a specialist school for children with physical disabilities and providing appropriate equipment.
  • Working in a private OT clinic providing Sensory Integration therapy for children with autism, dyspraxia and attachment disorder.


Lottie’s name is Charlotte Jones but known by friends, family and colleagues as Lottie. Lottie completed an extended BTEC diploma in animal management, and also completed lots of work experience placements in different animal settings. Lottie has previously worked with different ages of children and adults with disabilities including autism, ADHD, cerebral paulsey, down syndrome, epilepsy, brain injury, dementia and strokes. Before Elysian, Lottie worked in a specialist school as an Outdoor Activities Teaching Assistant based at the schools Paddocks closely working with the animals as therapy as well as the Horticulture, Forest Schools and PE teachers. Lottie feels that she has been incredibly lucky to receive the experience and opportunities that have been given to her and thoroughly enjoys working with people and animals at Elysian.


Beth has worked at Elysian since June 2018, and knows the farm and animals like the back of her hand! Beth has a degree is Zoology and currently studying Animal Assisted Therapy Level III. Beth is amazing with animals and humans alike, and her animal expertise keeps everyone engaged and interested. She is the expert llama catcher, and her calm and friendly nature makes her popular with children and young people who come to the farm. Beth has oodles of horse experience and uses equine assisted therapy exercises to build confidence with the clients she works with. Beth works full time, looking after animals and facilitating therapeutic sessions with clients.


Alex is a highly accomplished therapist, who has worked with children and young people across a variety of need, including undertaking crisis intervention and treatment plans. Alex’s specialisms include child sexual abuse, PTSD, trauma and anxiety disorders. Alex has a wealth of experience in facilitating therapy groups and has worked in setting across different hterapy modalities. Alex is also very experienced with horses, and passionate about the therapeutic impact our four legged friends can have on our recovery and development. Alex has had many relevant roles including recently worked as a Specialist Post Abuse therapist, Therapist with the NSPCC, Home School link worker and also recently worked in Surrey CC’s Post Order team.

Alex’s Qualifications

  • BA Hons Post Graduate: Dramatherapy
  • BA Hons : Theatre In Education
  • HND: Drama In The Community
  • Level 2 Systemic Practitioner: Family And Systemic Therapy
  • Introduction To Equine Assisted Therapy – LEAP
  • Certificate: Life Story Work


Helen has a wealth of experience working with children spanning over 20 years. She has worked mainly as a primary school teacher facilitating learning and supporting well-being across the Primary age range. Helen has supported children with a range of difficulties including: speech and language, ASD, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, anxiety, attachment disorder, emotional, social and behavioural difficulties. Six years ago, Helen trained and qualified as a hypnotherapist with counselling skills in order to work with children and young people more therapeutically. She has worked with a range of young people and adults helping them with difficulties such as anxiety, pain management, phobias, OCD, trauma etc. Helen went on to study advanced therapeutic techniques and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), becoming a qualified practitioner. She has worked creatively using painting, drawing, picture tapping and stories. During this time, Helen also supported young people in a secondary school in Crawley, to help them manage examinations positively. She worked alongside students having difficulties with anxiety and stress, as well as, reading and scribing in mocks, GCSEs and BTEC qualifications. Helen has 3 mixed breed Bengal cats and was brought up in a family home with a variety of unusual pets!

Helen’s Qualifications

  • BA (HONS) Religious Studies and Education BSC (HONS) Psychology
  • PGCE- Primary Teaching
  • Diploma in Hypnotherapy with Counselling Skills EFT Practitioner Level 2 Certificate in Advanced Therapeutic Skills (Working with habits, pain management, Gestalt, inner child, creative arts techniques, picture tapping) Certificate in Matrix Re-imprinting Child Protection, Prevent and Safeguarding training Enhanced DBS
  • Diploma Level 3 – Animal Assisted Therapy (ongoing)


Jen is a highly qualified and experienced equine coach and lecturer who has a breadth of experience across a variety of educational environments.  After completing her BSc (Hons) in Equine Science, Jen started her career as an Equine Lecturer on programmes ranging from Entry-Level through to Foundation Degree.  She has taught a wide range of equine subjects including stable management, anatomy and physiology, performance and rehabilitation, biomechanics and horse behaviour.  However, she has also taught more general subjects such as ICT, study skills, literacy and numeracy to level 2, business studies and event management.  After starting in lecturing, Jen moved on to coaching riding and now has many years of teaching riders of all ages and levels to draw upon.  During her career, Jen has worked with a range of learners to help them overcome their learning difficulties and fulfil their potential.  Jens passion for all things “horse” and caring, patient approach has enabled her to support and encourage students beyond what they thought was possible.

Jen’s Qualifications

  • BHSII – Intermediate Instructor Certificate
  • BHS Stable Manager Certificate
  • BSc (Hons) in Equine Science
  • Certificate in Education
  • Post-Graduate Diploma in Animal Manipulation
  • EQL UKCC3 Certificate in Coaching (Generic)
  • Certificate in Assessing Candidates Using a Range of Methods (A1 award)

Jen is currently studying part-time for a PhD through the University of Worcester.


Chloe has worked with children for many years, particularly with younger children. Chloe has undertaken lots of training in her work with children, and have supported children with SEND/additional needs. Chloe has a Childcare and Education Diploma Level 3, and lots of relevant training in the field, including safeguarding, EQUIP super skills, sensory processing skills, promoting positive behaviour, food safety and paediatric first aid. Chloe has lots of experience with animals and is passionate about working therapeutically with children, young people and animals.


Emily is an HCPC registered Occupational Therapist, with extensive experience in working with children and young people with a range of SEND and complex needs- including autism, Down Syndrome, Angelman’s, Marfans, behavioural difficulties and social emotional difficulties. Emily has worked with a very diverse range of children, young people and adults/families and is able to adapt her style ensuring she is delivering the best care for the child/young person and their family.

For Emily it is important to be approachable, honest and open and she has a passion for Paediatric Occupational Therapy. Emily has had many different roles. She has worked in a children’s therapy team and also as a play worker, supporting a variety of children in a range of activities. Emily has completed a Makaton signing course and TASSELS course and is experienced in communicating with non-verbal children. Emily has spent years around horses, dogs and cats, sheep, calves and goats. She is interested in animal behaviour and passionately believe in the therapeutic benefits animals and a natural environment can offer. She has also worked on a care farm in Dorset, volunteered at riding for the disabled and attended a vast range of courses, from sensory workshops to a range of OT conferences. Emily also has her own horse, Albie.


Julie is a registered Social Worker with a huge wealth of experience in a vast variety of settings, including working with Looked After Children, Child Protection and Mental Health. Julie is a passionate and highly committed practitioner who delivers work to a very high standard.  She is passionate about securing the best possible outcomes for the children and families she works with.  Julie has worked with high risk, vulnerable children managing complex and challenging caseloads, for example, providing containment and intervention for suicidal children and children who have difficulty regulating their emotions whilst balancing risk and level of need.  Julie believes in working creatively to meet needs, and has an emphatic genuine approach to overcoming challenges for young people, enabling growth, progress and learning.

Julie’s Qualifications

  • 1998 Childline Counselling
  • 2005 Psychology ‘AS’ level (Grade B) Richmond Adult Community College
  • 2007 Access to Nursing, Healthcare and Social Work Kingston College. (Pass with Distinction)
  • 2010 BA (Hons) degree in Social Work, First Class, Kingston University
  • 2012 Post Qualifying Award in Specialist Social Work (B pass)
  • 2015 Coaching to improve performance
  • 2016 Introduction to Mindfulness
  • 2017/2018 Post graduate level Guided Self Help CBT model
  • 2018 Introduction to DBT


Steve is extremely experienced in working with children and young people with a vast variety of needs, in specialist provisions. He has worked as a Behavioural Lead, in an inclusion support team and in many other settings where his specialism was working creatively with complex children and young people and managing and positively influencing change in behaviours. Steve has worked in settings that has provided education for children and young people with SEND needs, across the full range of ages and has had many leading roles in supporting staff in these settings. Steve is incredibly passionate about animals, and the impact that they have on people. Steve thoroughly enjoys working with children and their families and seeing a child progress and gain confidence in their abilities and enjoys positively encouraging them to do so. Steve has developed a good rapport with the pupils at the schools he has worked with. Steve has a really good knowledge of child development and is able to relate and empathise with pupil’s needs, and is a good problem solver. Steve is also a trained Team Teach Instructor, and has expertise in managing and working with behaviours as well as supporting staff to do so, in an education setting.


James has extensive experience in working with children and young people with SEND needs, in education settings. He has a really positive can-do attitude and has a multitude of skills that are a fantastic asset to the team.  James loves to cook and teaching young people about cooking, he also has a gentle empathic approach to helping children and young people manage behaviours. James has also worked with adults with moderate to severe learning disabilities.  James has over 10 years experience in support work, has an NVQ Level 3 in Health and Social Care, Team Teach Instructor Training, and various other relevant training, including First Aid.


Lindsey has worked across a spectrum of relevant fields, including at an animal (horse) based therapy college and in a residential school for young people with Social, Emotional and Behavioural difficulties. Lindsey is ‘horsy’ with lots of horse experience, has lots of Senior Support and Management experience in the care, education and social care sector, along having previously worked in careers advice. Lindsey is passionate about animals and the outdoor environment and a skilled Senior Support Worker.


Terri is our brilliant Administrator and looks after all things Admin. Terri has a vast skill base and a true passion for what we do. She’s super skilled, and there isn’t anything she can’t do in the admin world side of things, including being a website and graphic designer! She has done everything from Marketing Coordinator roles, Secretarial work, Management and Design. Terri has over 20 years of experience, absorbing skills from a huge range of spheres in the business world. Terri believes in the healing power of animals, has an amazingly refreshing and positive way of ensuring people feel good.


Phil has worked with Elysian from day 1. He is our Maintenance Manager, and he has spent his time developing and fixing up Westland Farm. He is the reason it looks the way it does today! Phil pretty much knows everything to do with building, carpentry and maintenance. He’s the go to’ guy for anything do with designing or changing things around to make things better for the people we work with, or the staff. He can build a house from scratch if needs be, and fix anything that’s not working properly. As you can imagine he’s pretty essential to the smooth running of Elysian! Phil is also fully vetted (DBS) with us, and young people enjoy helping him with farm maintenance jobs occasionally.


Adrian is a qualified Social Worker, with a wealth of experience working with clients across ages and needs. He is employed as a Manager by the National Probation Service. He has considerable experience in group work with a wide variety of service users. He has also owned horses for more than 20 years, both as a rider and carriage driver, and has experience of working with other animals. Adrian supports AATL group sessions on the farm and also helps out at various events.