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Kilfrost lifts community spirits with dog befriending donation

By Kilfrost and Spirit In Mind

April 29th, 2021

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One key element of Spirit in Mind is the Canine befriender programme which was set up to provide inpatients and staff with the opportunity to experience the many benefits of spending time with a therapy animal on a regular basis.  There is lots of evidence to show that spending time with animals can reduce stress, provide comfort and distraction from upsetting experiences and symptoms, promote social interaction and reduce loneliness.  Close contact with a therapy animal can often be a deeply spiritual experience as it enables people to get in touch with often hidden and neglected parts of themselves therefore allowing feelings and emotions to emerge which can be deeply therapeutic and healing. 

 The canine befrienders visit the mental health inpatient wards on a weekly basis, with their owners who give their time voluntarily, and provide support to people experiencing mental health conditions.  The dogs have proved to be very popular with everyone on the wards which has led to an increased demand for visits therefore additional dogs are needed which, unfortunately, all costs money in terms of recruiting and assessing them.  However with Kilfrost’s £1300 donation, the charity is able to look at recruiting a number of additional dogs to the programme. 

 Gary Lydiate, Kilfrost Chief Executive, said: “These are challenging times for us all - especially for the most vulnerable in society. That’s why it’s more important than ever for us to help each other - and as a business we’re committed to supporting the community, lifting the spirits of those around us.

 “Having witnessed the heart-warming responses from service users towards the volunteer dogs, I’m certain the donation will bring smiles all round, and make a lasting impact to their lives.”

 South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust / EyUp! charity quote

We are absolutely overwhelmed at the generosity of Kilforst for their donation of £1300 to the Canine Befrienders project.  This will pay the costs involved with recruiting a number of additional dogs to the programme which means the wards can receive visits on a more regular basis.  It also means we can look at expanding the service to include the dogs spending time with people on an individual basis, such as accompanying someone on a short walk around the hospital grounds.  The funding will enable even more people to be able to enjoy the benefits of spending time with our wonderful dogs!

 To read more about the work of ‘Spirit In Mind’ please visit https://www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk/spirit-in-mind/home/

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