My Noah’s A.R.T. Story

“It’s improved my confidence, at the same time as enabling me to help give other people independence and confidence too.”

How it began

 

Josh began volunteering at the Pop Inn community café on Tuesdays, after he had stopped attending any formal education or placement.

He loves animals, and has a lot of knowledge and experience to offer. He settled into the team quickly, and became our resident herpetology expert (reptiles). He felt he had found a safe and accepting space at Noah’s A.R.T., where everyone shared his love of animals and he could leave his ‘bad boy’ image behind.

Here’s what Josh had to say about his experience:

“Volunteering has helped me to feel more motivated. I have noticed an increase to my confidence, both here and outside. I think that volunteering here has made me better connected with adults too. I don’t feel judged, and the team genuinely care about my wellbeing.”

Then what happened

After having worked at the Pop Inn for several months, Josh began volunteering with our dog-assisted befriending scheme, Pet Connect, too.

He became one of Pet Connect’s ‘supported volunteers’. The Pet Connect Coordinators supported him to visit Pet Connect clients with the Noah’s A.R.T. therapy dogs.

First, he visited ‘B’ with Tyler. B was struggling to get out and walk her dog Shylock, due to severe anxiety.

Josh and Tyler built up B’s confidence by providing friendship and support on regular dog walks.

B told us:

 

“Josh and you have enabled me to have the confidence to take Shy out on my own. I am now able to go to the private field where Shy is off lead and safe. It's amazing to be a part of.”

What’s next?

Since then, Josh has started volunteering every week with our Inscape House School pupils.

Happily, he was also successfully accepted onto a college course, and is now back in formal education.

He is also campaigning hard for Noah’s A.R.T. to get a resident snake… But he may be campaigning for a long time….

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