These are the shepherdesses using sheep and goats to boost people’s mental health.

Thame pair Emma Redman, 37, and 46-year-old Pippa Ashton set up EWE Talk last year with the aim of helping struggling children and grown-ups.

Having started with a single Valais Blacknose sheep, the organisation now has a flock of seven sheep and two goats.

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The cute fuzzy-faced sheep breed is known for its dog-like temperament, making them the perfect animals to provide support to children dubbed ‘superheroes’ by the charity’s founders.

Emma said: “One of the things we have always known is how useful animals are as a tool to help those struggling with diversities and mental health issues.

“Sheep aren’t used as therapy animals – people usually think of horse and dog therapy.

“We offer a safe space, if they want to talk to us then they can but maybe they just want to play and giggle and laugh and run around with the sheep.

“We want to be there to help anyone that needs us – we've got so much belief that what we can do is make a difference.”

The pair hope to visit schools and other educational institutions with their animals, and currently welcome children experiencing struggles with their mental health onto the farm.

They have also taken their animals on the road to meet children receiving treatment for serious conditions like swellings on the brain. The charity is looking for funding to expand their operations.

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Emma said: "We are a mobile service, which is unique - we load two animals into a vehicle and can go anywhere within the county.

"We can go to people’s houses and help those struggling with loneliness and isolation.

"We’re not alternative education provider, our focus is on wellbeing and emotional support for children with neurodiversity and mental health issues.

"We’ve run pilots with people offering free services mostly from home.

"A young girl came to the farm who had tried all different types of therapies and for first 10 minutes she didn’t want to engage.

"After that, she was in the stable with the sheep being cuddled - over the hour we started to talk and there was laughter and smiles and she's come back weekly since.”

Oxford Mail: Emma Redman and Pippa Ashman use Valais Blacknose sheep to provide therapy to children and adults

Emma added: "Every time we see a child benefit from their time with the animals it gives us that passion to move forwards and make a difference.

"We felt honoured that we were able to be there with them and support them and share that with them and they let us in.

"All the children going through these things are superheroes, if we can make difference to a few people's lives then it’s a success."