Children from a primary school in Guisborough have brightened the day of residents at neighbouring Park House Care Home by visiting with North East charity, Wag & Company.
Pupils from St Paulinus Roman Catholic Primary School accompanied Wag & Company volunteer, Andy Lynch and his professionally assessed friendship dogs, Border Terriers Daisy and Poppy, to the care home on two occasions, where they sang and chatted to residents.
The pupils’ involvement in the charity developed from a visit to the school from Andy and care home resident Lesley, where they explained the charity’s valuable work and how volunteers are helping to reduce loneliness and bring the company of a dog to those who can no longer have one; which is clinically proven to have a positive effect on older people’s health. The school also has a deep connection with the care home, which is built on the grounds of the St Paulinus church, and the pupils originally chose its name.
Ruth Jones, year five teacher at St Paulinus, said: “The children absolutely loved every second of the visits and made me very proud. It was one of the most magical things I have ever seen as a teacher, the children and residents enjoying one another’s company, all smiling and chatting, with the dogs acting as a common interest – it was truly special.
“The work Wag & Company does is amazing and I just wanted to thank the charity for allowing us to share a little part in it.”
Due to the success of the visits, the school is now in discussion with Park House Care Home to set up an ongoing programme of activity, with residents visiting school and spending time with the children.
The school is also holding a coffee morning to raise money for Wag & Company.
Tracy Fenwick, well-being coordinator at Park House Care Home, said: “Our residents really enjoy lots of things but two things in life they particularly enjoy are children and animals, so bringing the two together is an extra special treat that brings so much joy to them. The interaction with the children and Daisy and Poppy the friendship dogs is amazing and puts smiles on a lot of faces.”
For more information on Wag & Company, see www.wagandcompany.co.uk