TheraPaws visit National Theatre for MHAW

TheraPaws visit National Theatre for MHAW

As part of last week’s Mental Health Awareness Week, the Mayhew Animal Home continued with their campaign to raise awareness surrounding the issues of mental health and wellbeing by visiting the National Theatre alongside their superb TheraPaws dogs.

As part of The Mayhew’s animal therapy visiting programme, therapy dogs are used to not only reduce stress and anxiety but aid in resolving social isolation and improve the relationships between humans and dogs.

The scheme currently involves 62 volunteers and 52 dogs that see dedicated TheraPaws volunteers and their canine friends visit palliative care centres, hospices and hospitals across 11 different London boroughs.

TheraPaws volunteers Ilonka Scaman, Helen Liu, Kelly Scarrott and Peter Waldman, and their dogs BenJecky, Java, Winston and Tobi were all kindly invited to spend time meeting employees at the National Theatre on the Southbank last Friday. The theatre stages up to 30 productions every year ranging from the classics to contemporary masterpieces.

When volunteers from The Mayhew arrived, the attention was firmly placed on the TheraPaws dogs who were lavished with praise, cuddles and vast amounts of love and adoration from all the staff.

Phoebe Pickard, HR Advisor at the National Theatre said, “The Mayhew’s TheraPaws programme is a great initiative and great way for us to raise awareness of Mental Health Awareness Week.

“As well as being a welcome distraction from our everyday busy lives, dogs have the ability to lower stress levels and boost office morale.”

Luke Berman, TheraPaws Project Manager added, “It was a fantastic day and our volunteers and their dogs really enjoyed interacting with so many different people.

“From the look on people’s faces when they were talking, cuddling, and stroking the dogs, it is clear to see that our furry friends brought a lot of happiness and delight to their day.

“Our TheraPaws programme is a great way to promote and raise awareness of mental health. As well as enhancing people’s lives by helping to reduce social isolation, stress and unlocking memories and emotions, the initiative also helps animals by raising awareness of the positive effects dogs can have, including promoting respect and compassion towards animals.”

Images courtesy of The Mayhew Animal Home.

George Welsby

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