BRACKEN the dog is helping with residents’ wellbeing at a Southam retirement home.
Bracken visits Tithe Lodge – an extra care housing development for older people managed by Orbit – as part of a new ‘pet therapy’ session.
Coral Greenhalgh, Orbit’s activities coordinator at Tithe Lodge said: “Obviously the past couple of years have been incredibly challenging for residents.
“The need to protect vulnerable residents during lockdown meant that our usual activities and visits couldn’t run in the same way, so lots of people felt isolated and are still reluctant in some instances to start socialising again.
“But Bracken’s visits have given everyone a much-needed boost – the whole atmosphere changes when he is in the building.”
Tithe Lodge resident Bernard Rawbone added: “It’s great to have Bracken visiting us and to see the smiles on everyone’s faces when he’s here.”
Bracken is an eight-year-old Cocker Spaniel cross Labrador from Therapy Dogs Nationwide, a national charity that enlists visiting volunteers to take their own dogs into establishments to provide comfort, distraction, and stimulation.
Kate Marshall, Bracken’s owner who volunteers with Therapy Dogs Nationwide, said: “When I retired from teaching I wanted to find a way that I could still make a positive difference to people’s lives.
“As a dog owner I know the benefit to my own health and wellbeing of having Bracken in my life so I’m really pleased to be able to share this with others – and Bracken really enjoys the extra fuss and attention too.”
Visit tdn.org.uk for more information.