Pets as Therapy Hospice Volunteer Prepares to Start Back

23 Apr 2021

With April marking National Pet Month, which celebrates the benefits that pets bring to peoples’ lives, Pets as Therapy Volunteer, Heather King, is starting preparations to return to her role at Dr Kershaw’s Hospice later on this year.

Heather made visits to the Hospice for over a year prior to lockdown, with her Cockapoo dog, Lottie by her side. Lottie, who first had to undertake official training and be assessed by national charity, Pets as Therapy before she was able to enter the Hospice, provided consenting patients in both the Hospice’s Well-being Centre and In-Patient Unit with comfort and interaction.

Heather commented: “Pets as Therapy dogs are trained to be obedient and to know when they are working, Lottie has additional vaccines each year to ensure no contaminated bacteria is passed on to a patient. When Lottie visited the Hospice, I saw the value each patient got from her presence. Patients visibly relaxed and calmed down when stroking Lottie, they reminissed, interacted and looked forward to her visits each week. Lottie also supports end-of-life patients, and brought a lot of comfort to a young lady who previously had her own dogs and was receiving care at the Hospice.”

With over a year since her last visit to the Hospice, Heather and Lottie are now completing assessments for Pets as Therapy to ensure they are both ready when the time comes to return to their roles at Dr Kershaw’s.

To find out more about volunteering opportunities contact the Hospice’s Volunteering Team on 0161 624 2727 or volunteerdept@drkh.org.uk

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