Heroes and loved ones at the Help for Heroes Recovery Centre in Colchester, Chavasse VC House, were greeted with a few sloppy kisses and twitchy noses last week as they were introduced to four very special animals used as part of animal therapy sessions.
Arctica the cat, Pickles the mini Daschund, Hippo the hairless guinea pig and Peter the one eared rabbit provided endless cuddles and entertainment to our wounded, injured and sick residents and their families as well as enlightening others on their unique and individual appearances. The animals were supplied by Essex based charity Alamanda Animal Therapy and are often used in hospitals to support children and adults with special needs.
It was the animals’ first visit to the Centre but proved such a hit that they will be returning by popular demand.
Georgie Friend, Health and Physical Wellbeing Advisor at Chavasse VC House explained why animal therapy can work well for some people including recovering personnel and veterans:
“Animal therapy is particularly effective in helping a person’s social, emotional or cognitive functioning. It can also support someone’s physical abilities through the use of having to groom the animal and grip a brush, as well as the health benefits of taking it out for walks. It was great to be able to introduce this type of therapy to the Colchester Recovery Centre and show how, with the right animal, they can support recovery. They certainly brought a lot of smiles to everyone’s faces!”