There are proven physical and mental health benefits to being around animals. Extensive research has shown that the presence of an animal can have a positive impact on physiology and psychology and so help to reduce stress levels. Stroking a pet for example, has been shown to lower blood pressure and the heart rate, bringing a calming effect. In this way, pets may be used to provide emotional support as well as provide a service.
During 2019 we were having regular visits from a registered therapy dog ‘Noah', the Tibetan Terrier from the Pets As Therapy (PAT) READ 2 DOGS programme. Noah visited us every Monday with his owner Brenda. Children worked with him to increase their confidence and enjoyment of reading, an initiative which proved particularly successful.
Children who visit The Hub also enjoy taking care of our resident tortoise, Marlo, and our tropical fish.