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Animal Therapy at Cygnet Joyce Parker Hospital is a big hit

As part of the animal therapy programme at Cygnet Joyce Parker Hospital a wide range of animals visit the hospital each week. The regular interaction with animals is proving to be calming and helpful to the young people at the hospital, especially those who may miss their pets at home.

One of the regular visitors to the hospital is Sarah the Animal Lady from Animaltastic. She brings a wide collection of animals to visit the young people each week including rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, snakes, turtles, lizards, cockroaches, snails, hedgehogs and a whole host of other creatures!

Katie Condliffe, Head Occupational Therapist & Sensory Integration Practitioner, said, “Often, when our young people first come to the hospital they tell us how much they miss their pets at home, or how much being around animals helps them. Both the young people and staff love the opportunity to spend some time with the animals, and we never know who is more excited to see them!

“Sometimes taking part in the sessions means that some of the young people have to overcome their fears and challenge themselves by interacting with some of the animals (usually the snakes!) – and we give any young person or staff member who overcomes their fears a bravery award!

“This week we welcomed Norman the Hedgehog to the hospital, and one of our young people overcame his fears of handling a snake exclaiming that ‘coming to animal therapy is pawfect’. One of our young people said that she found animal therapy to be ‘calming and helpful’ and that she was always guaranteed to attend when they visited the unit!

“We look forward to welcoming more furry (and scaly) friends in the future!”

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