Local MP praises Therapy Dogs charity

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23 May 2019
Wirral West MP Margaret Greenwood has praised Therapy Dogs Nationwide – a national charity which was set up by a Wirral woman from her home less than four years ago and has now expanded to the point where they have more than 700 volunteers across the country.

Margaret Greenwood met with Eileen Slattery from Woodchurch and Jan Tarrant from Upton, and their dogs – Spartacus, a golden retriever, and Bramble, a miniature schnauzer – in Parliament at an event to raise awareness of the positive impact that therapy dogs can have.

Therapy Dogs Nationwide is a registered charity and volunteers like Eileen, who co-founded the charity and acts as Chair and Trustee, and Jan, visit establishments such as hospitals, hospices, residential homes, schools, care centres and prisons where the dogs help people to relax, give comfort, distraction and stimulation.

The concept of Therapy Dogs was originally devised by Lesley Scott-Ordish in 1976 when she discovered the trauma experienced by the elderly if forced to give up a much-loved pet upon going into residential care. Lesley, using her own dogs to visit, could immediately see the positive impact their presence was having on the emotional wellbeing of the residents. 

Margaret Greenwood MP said:

“I was delighted to be able to meet up with Eileen and Jan and their dogs Spartacus and Bramble in Parliament.

“It’s great credit to Eileen that the charity she founded with a friend less than four years ago now has volunteers nationwide.

“It was very interesting to hear about the work that goes on at the charity and about the history of Therapy Dogs.

“Therapy Dogs Nationwide volunteers and dogs visit establishments such as nursing homes, hospitals and schools, and I understand they are also becoming increasingly involved in one-off visits for stress busting and general wellbeing within large corporations.

“You can find out more about Therapy Dogs Nationwide by visiting their website at http://www.tdn.org.uk/ where you can also find contact details and request a visit to your organisation.”

Co-founder, Chair and Trustee of Therapy Dogs Nationwide, Eileen Slattery, said:

“The lives of thousands of people every week are improved by Therapy Dogs Nationwide. Dogs have been used in the care sector for over 40 years.”

“Our organisation is run totally by volunteers who have a huge amount of expertise in many different aspects of therapy work with dogs. Volunteers are all registered with the organisation and their dogs are all thoroughly temperament tested.

“We are regularly contacted by organisations who are taking part in mental health awareness programs and staff wellbeing initiatives and want to include Therapy Dogs Nationwide as part of their support networks.

“We visit many different establishments with our calm, happy therapy dogs. This gives us the opportunity to meet a vast array of different people from all walks of life, each with their own special problems, needs and requirements.”