Two rescue dogs have been trained as Canine Befrienders thanks to a grant from Petplan Charitable Trust.
The NHS linked charity, Spirit in Mind, were awarded £250 in June 2020 towards their Canine Befrienders Programme. The charity provides the service to help support patients with mental health issues. The money contributed to the cost of putting the two rescue dogs through the recruitment/assessment process for the programme.
“I am very pleased to report that both passed with flying colours!” says Angie Barker, Befriending Project and Volunteer Support Co-ordinator.
“The very handsome Cisco, who was rescued from the streets of Romania, is now doing a wonderful job welcoming and spending time with visitors to the Pastoral and Spiritual Care department within the hospital. He is proving to be a very popular member of the team! And, the lovely Mara, who is a rescued racing greyhound, is due to start her role visiting individuals on the inpatient units very shortly.
“I am particularly excited that we have been able to recruit these two beautiful dogs, who have both been rescued from particularly traumatic circumstances. I know they will do a fantastic job in supporting humans who are going through difficult times.”
Spirit in Mind is a project initiated by South West Yorkshire NHS Foundation Trust. The idea is to support patient wellbeing through a collaboration between healthcare and community-based spiritual organisations. The Canine Befriender project provides an opportunity for people to benefit from the non-judgemental companionship of dogs.