Volunteers Week - a Provide Volunteer story
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Volunteers Week - a Provide Volunteer story

31st May 2019

31 May 2019

"Millie, my Australian Labradoodle, and I volunteer fortnightly to visit the wards at St Peter’s Hospital in Maldon. Many of the patients have suffered strokes and are there for rehabilitation. We are always welcomed into the hospital by patients and staff, from the moment we come through the door, everyone is pleased to see Millie.  She greets many outpatients, porters and admin staff before even going up onto the wards.

"Working and volunteering with a Pets as Therapy (PAT) dog is the most rewarding job ever. Many patients who have been in hospital long term have dogs at home who they are missing terribly and often show us pictures and relate stories of their own pets. It seems to make a real difference and people who have been feeling very low become quite animated and enjoy stroking Millie and giving her the occasional treat. It is amazing how calm and gentle Millie is with frail and confused patients and how they relate to her.

"A couple of times, we have become involved in Occupational Therapy sessions in the day room and the therapists have encouraged patients to touch and stroke Millie with the hands they are having difficulty using – more interesting than squeezing a ball!

"The ward staff seems to get as much pleasure greeting Millie as the patients and she is always so pleased to see everyone. She often makes herself useful doing a little light cleaning under the beds and chairs retrieving any dropped biscuits!

"I can thoroughly recommend volunteering and would encourage anyone to give it a go. It’s just a few hours out of my day – every couple of weeks - that makes a big difference."

Lesley Speller and Millie

To find out more about volunteering with Pets as Therapy visit their website.

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