Jervois couple have big plans for Everyone’s Got an Olly
A Jervois couple hope to make their café and farm into a learning centre for young people with autism.
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Lisa and Darren Henley’s Jervois café and farm, Everyone’s Got an Olly, has already proven popular since it opened – but they hope to turn it into something more.
The couple wish to expand the premises into somewhere young people can grow through interacting with animals.
The Henleys’ daughter, Olly, was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 11 and autism at the age of 13, and continues to battle mental health issues as an adult.
The parents of three children, who had been living in Adelaide, wanted to find a way to help Olly get through her depression and help like-minded teenagers.
So the Henleys sold their Adelaide home and moved to Jervois in December 2021, into an old dairy with 65 acres of space.
The Henleys have assembled a fine collection of farm animals on their property, and opened a coffee and food van in February this year to drive forward their idea for a welcoming space for youth.
The Henleys’ goal is to keep young people, particularly those with autism, out of hospitals; and to give them the freedom to express themselves and develop their confidence and life skills.
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Customers at the café can already have barista-made coffee and hot food with Shetland ponies only metres away, but the concept is set to expand, with the Henleys planning to convert their milking shed into a classroom.
“We can make lunch for the students, and they can interact with the animals; we’ll have ducks and chickens wandering around them,” Ms Henley said.
“There’ll be disability access, and we may get groups like Minda and some schools here and even go to nursing homes.
“Our plans are currently with the council.”
Ms Henley said that as a high percentage of children with autism had mental health issues, she hoped that Everyone’s Got an Olly could support youth with autism to improve their mental health and social skills.
According to Ms Henley, one way to do this is through animals.
“There are stories where kids can’t talk to humans, but there’s eye contact with animals – one might find contact with horses, or another might find contact with a chicken,” she said.
Some of the animals that are at the farm include chickens, goats, sheep, and alpacas named John, George, Paul and Ringo – because Mr Henley is a big Beatles fan.
There’s also a turkey called Christmas.
“Because he’ll be Christmas in July if he doesn’t behave,” Ms Henley joked.
More information: Visit Everyone’s Got an Olly at 2776 Jervois Road, Jervois from 8am-2pm Tuesday-Friday or 9am-2pm on weekends; or search for Everyone’s Got an Olly on Facebook.
Get help with mental health issues: Talk to your GP; find a local service that suits you at murraymallee.servicesdirectory.org.au; call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or SANE Australia on 1800 187 263; or, in an emergency, call 000.