The strong affinity between humans and animals, particularly dogs has been recorded down the ages and this is continued with our work at Therapy Dogs Nationwide (TDN).
TDN is a relatively new Charity formed in 2016 and receives no government grants but rather relies on donations and the generosity of the general public. The last year has been a difficult one without fundraising events due to Covid and our TDN dogs have been so bored without any visiting; hopefully, we will be able to start again very soon.
The Charity is run by volunteers for volunteers. There are 4 Trustees who have many years of working with therapy dogs.
We have over a 1000 registered volunteers and their dogs working throughout the UK and Jersey and we are always keen to accept new pets. TDN dogs are family pets and if the owner feels their dog has the right temperament (and the owner has the time), they can apply to have their dog assessed by a trained assessor. If the dog is accepted our Establishment Co-Ordinator tries to match the dog with a waiting placement.
We accept all breeds, so small dogs like chihuahuas and big dogs like Great Danes and every size in between; it is the dog’s temperament which is of the greatest importance.
Our human volunteers and their dogs visit many types of establishments: hospitals, hospices, prisons, schools, care homes, day centres, probation hostels, police, fire, and ambulance stations and TDN is often asked to ‘wellbeing’ courses within industry.
Our ‘Paws to Read’ scheme is highly successful; our dogs listen to reluctant readers read, and their teachers have reported a marked improvement in both their reading skills and their self-confidence.
So how do these amazing dogs help those in need? Socially, Physically, and Mentally.
People who have dogs will recognise the comfort and love they share with their pets. Dogs give their love unconditionally and they do not judge people on the grounds of appearance, disability, etc; they bring laughter, tears, solace, and comfort. Our volunteers and their dogs see first-hand, how they affect the lives of thousands of people every week.
Residents, patients, pupils, and staff alike all look forward to their time with their Therapy Dog. While regular, long term visiting will always be at the core of what we do, we are increasingly being asked to attend “one-off” meetings such as support at Court for a particular case or at a funeral director to comfort mourners.
If you believe you have a calm dog who loves people and can spare an hour a week, please get in touch to find out more at [email protected].
Many questions can be answered on our FAQ pages here.
Charity No: 1167622