An Oxfordshire founder and CEO of a farm trust joined the likes of Emilia Clarke and Sir Sajid Javid on Wednesday as she collected an MBE at Windsor Castle.

Lydia Otter, owner of Pennyhooks Farm in Shrivenham, attended the castle to receive her honours from Prince William for services to people with autism and their families in Oxfordshire.

Other luminaries in attendance at the investiture ceremony included publican Sir Tim Martin, former chancellor Sir Sajid Javid, actress Emilia Clarke, Labour MP Dame Siobhain McDonagh and dance and performing arts director Betsy Gregory.

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Ms Otter said: “It was a truly magical day in such beautiful surroundings within the State Rooms of Windsor Castle that we shall remember forever, not least because it means our young people’s voices and perspectives are being listened to more and more".

Ms Otter thanked everyone who has helped Pennyhooks along its journey for their generosity and support.

She added: "This would not be possible without everyone's generosity and support. We also give thanks to our wonderful staff and co-farmers who held the fort so marvellously at the farm, despite the weather, and welcomed us home with smiles, tea and, of course, cake."

Prince William reportedly asked Lydia about Pennyhooks work, with a particular focus on encouraging employers to provide opportunities for people on the autistic spectrum.

Ms Otter was accompanied at the ceremony by her brother Andrew Otter, Autism Learning Centre manager Emma Masefield and trustee and farm manager Richard Hurford.

With a career focused on supporting children and young people with complex autism, Ms Otter formerly taught within the Oxfordshire Autism Service.

She then established Pennyhooks Farm at her former childhood home, starting work from a mobile home in 2001 and implementing a specially adapted countryside stewardship curriculum.

Her initiative received significant backing, with donations and farm diversification grants enabling the construction of a purpose-built students building in 2005.

Responding to the students' progress, Pennyhooks Farm Trust was formally established in 2011.

Further additions of workshops and training spaces were made in 2012 and 2014, aiming to extend the reach of the trust's supportive farm-based environment.

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Over the past 25 years, this setting has evolved into a pioneering response to the need for work-based training and opportunities for young adults with complex autism and related conditions.

Pennyhooks now welcomes 35 students each week to develop social and work skills in diverse areas including animal care, conservation, horticulture, woodwork, rural crafts, and home skills.

Day to day activities at the farm were chronicled in BBC documentary Farming on the Spectrum in November 2022.