TheraPaws Combat Student Stress

TheraPaws Combat Student Stress

For some, the beginning of May can signal the start of a rather stressful time to come. As students across the country embark upon their revision plans, subsequently turning libraries into departure lounges as they desperately try to cram-in as much last minute knowledge as humanly possible, The Mayhew Animal Home has taken it upon themselves to go about brightening up their day, by making visits alongside their wonderful TheraPaws dogs!

On Tuesday, volunteers Helen Liu and Deborah Taffler and their dogs – Java and Noodle – spent their free time meeting students from the University of Westminster, offering them time to relax and unwind in the company of their canine friends. The programme began in conjunction with The Mayhew’s animal therapy visiting programme which recognises the mutual benefits of animal companionship thus enhancing the relationship between humans and dogs.

Through this initiative, The Mayhew Animal Home seeks to improve people’s lives by helping to reduce social isolation and stress, as well as unlocking memories and emotions that someone may have found previously difficult to manifest. Their campaigns are primarily about raising awareness around the positive effects dogs can have on people by promoting values of respect and compassion.

When the dogs arrived at the University of Westminster’s campus in Marylebone in north-west London, they were greeted instantly with vast student smiles across their faces and much cuddle-infused attention from their over-worked admirers.

The Mayhew’s TheraPaws Project Manager, Luke Berman, had the following to say on the day, “I’m delighted that our TheraPaws volunteers and their dogs were able to help students during this stressful period. It was a brilliant day and we met a variety of different people.

“The main aim of the event was to help calm students’ nerves ahead of their exams and take their mind off studying by spending time interacting with our furry friends.

“The students all wanted to come over and speak to our volunteers and their dogs. It’s clear to see that they bring a lot of joy and well-being to people.

Viju Patel, Head of Counselling at Westminster University added, “It has been proven that stroking a dog has a calming effect on people and helps to lower stress levels and blood pressure. That’s why we thought it would be a great idea to introduce this amazing initiative to some of our students taking exams at the moment.

“We would like to thank all of The Mayhew’s volunteers and their dogs for visiting the university. It has been really nice to see students interacting with the dogs and it looks as though everyone has really enjoyed themselves, especially the dogs!”

The next visit to the University of Westminster will be at the Harrow campus on Tuesday 9th May from 12:30pm until 2:30pm. To find out more about TheraPaws please visit their website or call 020 8962 8004.

Images courtesy of The Mayhew Animal Home.

George Welsby

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