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One of our pupils has found his ‘hoppy’ place as an award-winning rabbit breeder attending animal shows across the UK.

Nathan regularly takes his beloved pets to some of the largest animal shows in the UK and has even been made an honorary Welsh ‘fancier’ – a breeder of high standards.

His new-found status contrasts with his early days as a quiet pupil at Summergil House. Now Nathan also has plans to qualify as a mechanic, having taken up regular work experience at a nearby garage as a result of the confidence breeding rabbits has given him too.

Nathan’s mum, Sam Mansell, said: “He really enjoys the social side of the shows, which have given him a confidence that he has taken into other areas of his life and will, all being well, take into the future workplace too. We couldn’t be prouder of him and the progress he is making as a result.”

Nathan’s involvement in the shows he attends now extends to stewarding, displays and award duties, and has seen him claim rosettes at The Royal Welsh Show, Three Counties Show, Swindon Show and the largest small animal show in the country at Doncaster, to name a few.

Orbis staff at Summergil House have also seen a quiet and introverted student grow into a confident young man since he took up the hobby.

Rachel Hackling, Head of Education at Summergil House, said: “He is a shining example of how anyone can make remarkable progress regardless of what their challenges may be. We are all super proud to count Nathan as one of our own here at Summergil House and can’t wait to see what the future holds for him.”

Orbis Education and Care has appointed Matt Dobbs as the new Registered Manager of Summergil House near Presteigne.

The former Social Services Children’s Mentor will build on a long-standing career in the field as he moves from a long-term role at Orbis’ sister site in Powys, Ty Bronllys, to manage Summergil.

Matt brings a wealth of experience to the role, having worked across several behavioural and clinical positions for Orbis since he was first appointed to the company as a support worker a decade ago.

Since then he has accrued a breadth of expertise to support him in further strengthening the residential care and educational services on offer to learners aged 8-19 at Summergil House.

Matt, 31, said: “Staying relatable to the wider team at Summergil, in order to maintain a setting which is a happy and enjoyable place to live and work will be a major focus for me in this new role, as will maintaining our relationship with the surrounding community.

“Raising awareness and the presence of the children and young people within Orbis’ care, and supporting them to build their confidence, self-esteem and validity in feeling part of the local community is something I am also looking forward to building on further across the two sites.”

Matt added: “Orbis has taught me that with the right approach and positivity anything is achievable. I love being part of a company that has such a fantastic ethos towards the well-being of young people and can’t wait to see what else is possible in moving out of the clinical team into this management role.”

 

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