A dog on a hospital ward: Exactly what patients need, says charity

PUBLISHED: 10:51 17 May 2013 | UPDATED: 11:14 17 May 2013

Adem Fehmi from 'Dog-Ease' with Yogi and volunteers from Kissing It Better Herts

Adem Fehmi from 'Dog-Ease' with Yogi and volunteers from Kissing It Better Herts

Archant

IT is not every day you see a dog walking around a hospital – but for some people that is exactly what they need to keep them going.

Charity Kissing it Better invites members of the community, with specialist skills, to make a difference to QE2 Hospital patients in a variety of ways.

One of those ways is to invite pets onto the ward.

Backers of the charity have launched a branch at the QE2 and they are now looking for more talented volunteers to come in and cheer up someone’s day.

Liz Pryor, project manager for the charity in Hertfordshire, said: “It is so important.

“Sometimes people think Kissing it Better is a bit of a travelling circus, but it is much more than that.

“What we are about is giving people something to look forward to and somebody different to talk to.”

It only launched at the hospital in the past month, but already has a number of people coming in and offering something different for the patients.

One not so usual visitor is Adem Fehmi, who brings with him his dog, Yogi.

Adem, 30, hopes to brighten up the patients’ days.

“It makes them forget they are ill for a while,” he said.

Yogi

Adem, who has his own business Dog-Ease, will be bringing Yogi into the hospital twice a month.

“One of the things I have noticed is that the dog does not look at the illness, whereas everybody else does.

“The dog does not do that, he takes them for what they are.”

The patients are also being treated to a bit of luxury.

Beauty therapy students, from Oaklands College, in WGC, have been going in and offering a number of treatments such as hand massages.

Tutor Nancy Tobitt-Yates said: “Everything on the wards is very routine but when the students go on to the ward it is such a breath of fresh air for the patients.”

The college got involved with Kissing it Better after seeing it on the news and thought it would be a worthwhile thing to do.

There are between six to 12 students who go in each week on a voluntary basis.

“It is lots of talking and getting to know the patients and it is good for them to work with members of the public they might not usually,” Nancy added.

But Liz is hoping more people in the community will offer their time and get involved.

To find out more contact Liz on liz@kissingitbetter.co.uk

To view their website visit http://www.kissingitbetter.co.uk/ – see the link above right.


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