In a bid to improve health and wellbeing, staff at our Regional HQ in Liverpool have had a special visit this week by some furry friends.
In a pilot being run across a number of NWAS sites over the region, national Charity – Therapy Dogs Nationwide (TDN) volunteers have brought in their trained dogs to give comfort, distraction and stimulation to our hardworking staff.
The first visit took place on Thursday where two schnauzers and a golden retriever were warmly welcomed with plenty of cuddles.
Strategic HR Manager, Katy Evans said: “The use of therapy dogs within NWAS supports the trust’s aspiration to provide a holistic wellbeing offering to its staff within the wider trust mental health strategic plan.
“There is evidence which illustrates that therapy dogs can help reduce stress. We understand that our staff can experience a significant amount of pressure and do such a fantastic job therefore we felt this would be a lovely touch during the working day.”
The benefits of Animal Assisted Therapies (AAT) have been extensively studied and the results illustrate improvement in general health and wellbeing. Therapy Dogs Nationwide regularly visits hospitals, hospices, schools and private organisation to help people de-stress.
EOC Control Manager, Angela Conway, said: “The staff were absolutely delighted with the visit and they certainly gave an instant feel-good factor. We look forward to them hopefully returning.”
The pilot will take place between October and December with the therapy dogs visiting various sites across the trust including 111 Middlebrook, Salkeld Hall, Broughton and Parkway. Feedback will be evaluated in January based on staff satisfaction/impact analysis on individual’s mental and emotional wellbeing. Depending on the success of the pilot and subsequent feasibility study, consideration will be given on how we can implement this initiative on a wider scale.