Search

Havering’s Pets As Therapy branches appeals for new volunteers

PUBLISHED: 17:06 14 February 2018 | UPDATED: 17:06 14 February 2018

Pets ast therapy volunteers visiting Meadowbanks, Hall care home, in Upminster,
Eunice Stuart, age 86 with Tucker the King Charles Spaniel, and George the Greyhound.

Pets ast therapy volunteers visiting Meadowbanks, Hall care home, in Upminster, Eunice Stuart, age 86 with Tucker the King Charles Spaniel, and George the Greyhound.

Archant

From those living in the wild, to the creatures curled up on the sofa, the UK is a country of animal lovers.

The companionship and comfort that often comes with spending time with animals is unlike no other and that is why a charity is appealing to recruit more volunteers across the borough to help provide just this.

The Havering branch of Pets As Therapy (PAT), which provides therapeutic visits from dogs and cats to places such as hospitals, hospices, prisons, care homes, schools and special needs schools, is looking for new pets to join its volunteering team.

Volunteer co-ordinator Julie Poole, of Hornchurch, said: “Volunteers with just a small amount of spare time each week work with their own pets, to bring joy, comfort and companionship to many individuals who appreciate being able to touch and stroke a friendly animal.

“It’s extremely rewarding for both the volunteer and their pet and is really appreciated by the people in the establishments visited.”

Julie adopted her border collier cross Millie from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in 2000 and started volunteering at the charity after being accepted to join its ranks.

The pair visited a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) in Hornchurch, and a children’s ward at Queen’s Hospital, Romford, regularly as well as other events.

Sadly, Millie passed away at age 16 a couple of years ago but Julie continues to help the charity as its volunteer co-ordinator.

Julie said: “Millie and I loved visiting together and the children so obviously benefitted from knowing her.

“She was very relaxing for them, and she soon worked out who to get the most attention from!”

Sheila Hughes, of Harold Wood, spends time every week visiting a care home with her four-year-old retired greyhound George.

She says a visit from George is a huge benefit to the residents, especially those with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

“It gives them a boost and makes those living with these illnesses feel more comfortable as I chat to them and they can stroke George at the same time.

“He [George] enjoys it too, I wouldn’t let him do it if he didn’t.

“I just think it makes everyone feel good.”

As part of the charity’s Read2Dogs programme, the volunteer pets are also taken into schools where children get to read to the animals to help improve their literacy skills.

Artist Julie King, 50, from Hornchurch, got involved as she wanted an opportunity to meet more people, so signed her eight-year-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel Tucker last year, after he was rescued from a puppy farm and adopted in 2016.

Julie and Tucker visit a care home and also take part in the Read2Dogs scheme at a primary school in the borough.

“Tucker is so friendly, laid back and full of character, he has just the right personality needed to be a PAT dog so it seemed an obvious choice”, Julie said.

“The children are always excited to see him and it gives their confidence a boost as they are not at all shy when they read to him as he doesn’t judge or correct them.

“If other people have a dog or a cat and some spare time, I would definitely recommend volunteering as it is so rewarding for all concerned.”

To become a PATs volunteer, each dog and cat has to be assessed, they must have been with their owner for at least six months, be nine months and older and be able to pass the temperament assessment.

All breeds of dog can become part of the team but all pets must be fully vaccinated.

The charity hopes that it will one day have enough volunteers to visit the residents in every care home in the borough.

For further information on becoming a Pets Volunteer, email reception@petsastherapy.org

Latest Romford News Stories

11:38

Police tasered a man in Collier Row after he threatened officers with a meat cleaver.

Christmas, the time of year when we are pressured to buy things no one wants for people we don’t want to buy for at prices we’re not happy with.

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our Met Office video forecast.

The discovery that a man who had been jailed for using his position as a police officer to prey on vulnerable women could have been allowed to work at Queen’s hospital without a compulsory background check is worrying both for staff and patients.

Yesterday, 17:05

A market trader from Newbury Park has been found guilty of torching a £260,000 Ferrari during an arson attack in Emerson Park that was revenge for a business deal gone wrong.

Yesterday, 16:18

Two of the three teenagers accused of taking part in a fatal knife attack which killed a 15-year-old outside a party in Collier Row have claimed they played no role in the incident.

Yesterday, 16:00

Whether visiting friends and family or going for that bargain in the sales, the rail network helps a lot of people to get around over the festive period.

Yesterday, 15:41

A Brentwood school has taken the Christmas crown in the annual Deck the Mall competition at the Liberty Shopping Centre thanks to one special pupil.

PROMOTED CONTENT

From November, The Mercury in Romford begins to celebrate Christmas. The mall has plenty of gift ideas, fun events and activities for everyone

Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now