On 2 June, The Mayhew welcomed a group from Westminster and Wandsworth Mind (WWMind) as part of National Volunteers Week. The idea was to highlight the dedicated work volunteers do at the rescue centre and demonstrate the physical and mental benefits of volunteering with animals. More than a dozen people from WW Mind came along to find out about the work we do.
Anna Claxton, The Mayhew’s Volunteer Manager, said: “Our volunteers do such an amazing job every day and we just wanted to share that with Mind. We had a wonderful time. It was a pleasure to host the day and everyone from the charity was fantastic. We hope that we will be able to develop our relationship with them in the future.”
WW Mind aims to help people with mental health problems to socialise and get the best out of their lives. Vasia Toxavidi, one of the counsellors at the health charity, came up with the idea of a partnership with TheraPaws, as she really believes in the emotional and physical benefits of interacting with animals. To learn more about TheraPaws, click here.
Jean Langford, one of the service users, said: “I had a brilliant day. I enjoyed everything about it. I love all animals, cats and dogs, so much so that I am now going to apply as a volunteer!”
WW Mind hopes that this project can help their service users to socialise and get back in the community. They hope that and that volunteering with pets will enable them to improve their social skills, enhance self-confidence and be involved more with the community.
Tina Lewis, another service user of the health charity, was terrified of dogs when she came into the rescue centre. She ended up stroking Tess, a dog belonging to Bill, one of the TheraPaws volunteers.
Tina added: “It was a really good day. The best part was seeing the cats. I would definitely like to do more of this. It’s an experience I will always remember.”
After Tuesday’s visit to The Mayhew, Vasia hopes to establish regular TheraPaws visits to WW Mind.
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