My Noah’s A.R.T. Story

“It's a small amount of time to give and it can make a difference to somebody who is isolated or has no contact with animals.”

How it began

Marie is an animal lover, who sponsors rescued cats and horses. Her son cares for her at home.

She was referred to Pet Connect, Noah’s A.R.T.’s dog-assisted befriending scheme, by the Social Prescribing team at Action Together. She was experiencing some loneliness and social isolation, and had mobility difficulties.

Then what happened

After an initial assessment, the Pet Connect coordinators matched Marie with a volunteer and dog Pet Buddy Team: Jayne and her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Evie. Jayne is a self-employed dog-groomer and used to be a nurse, who fitted volunteering around her work commitments. Jayne and Evie visited Marie at home regularly.

Here’s what Marie had to say about the experience:

“I like dogs, but I can’t have one now. It’s very nice having a chat to Jayne, I do get on with her. She’s very easy to talk to. This service could help other people like me, particularly people living alone. Personally, I’m not one of those people who’s got absolutely no-one coming in, but I know a lot of elderly people who do feel like that.”

Jayne enjoyed visiting Marie too, and felt she was making a positive impact:

“It feels like it makes a difference to somebody who doesn't have a dog of their own, due to age or maybe disability.

Marie is delighted to see Evie. She has been knitting jumpers and toys for her, which has given her an interest. I feel that it is beneficial for keeping people interested in life, and engaging with the care of an animal.”

What’s next?

Although, home visits are currently suspended due to COVID-19, we hope to resume them after the pandemic. In the meantime, Marie has contributed to the Pet Connect remote support offer, sending in a story all about her cats to be sent out to other clients as part of regular post packs.

She has also promised to knit stripy rats for all the Noah’s A.R.T. therapy dogs…

Here’s Jayne’s thoughts on the experience:

“It's a small amount of time to give and it can make a difference to somebody who is isolated or has no contact with animals. I would recommend anyone who feels they have time and love to give to volunteer as a Pet Buddy Team.”

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