Therapy Dogs Nationwide is a national charity where visiting volunteers take their own dogs into establishments to provide comfort, distraction, and stimulation.
Our volunteers have the unique privilege of volunteering with their own temperament tested Therapy Dogs; some with over 10 years of experience and always focused on benefiting people in the community. Using animals especially Dogs as therapy is not a new idea, they have been used for over 40 years in experience in the care sector and a lot of our volunteers have roots with Lesley Scott-Ordish who was a pioneer in visiting with taking your own pet dog to nursing homes.
The benefits of Animal Assisted Therapies (AAT) have been extensively studied and results range from improvement in general health and wellbeing, increased confidence levels, improved and controlled movement to improved communication skills.
Volunteers and Therapy Dogs work with a wide group of people within the community. Our work in residential care homes had improved communication in residents and patients by evoking memories and stimulating conversation.
Our dogs have also shown to help with special needs and autistic children and adults by giving focus and providing a calming environment.
We regularly visit local hospitals and hospices where patients and staff interact with our dogs and look forward to their visits
We are proud to be part of the Kennel Club Bark and Read Programme. We have many dogs that visit schools to help children develop their reading skills and build confidence.
Our volunteers also find their visits very rewarding.
More of our work can be seen on our Establishments page.
We cover as a volunteer base many different kinds of establishments such as: Schools, Special Needs Schools, Hospitals, Hospices, Nursing Homes, Care centres and Prisons.
Paws & Read
Our Paws & Read programme in Schools,is where we work closely with teachers and parentsto encourage children to interact with the Therapy dog by reading them a story.
Therapy Dogs Nationwide places temperament assessed dogs with their volunteer handlers into Primary, Junior, High and SEN schools under our Paws & Read scheme which is recognised by The Kennel Club.
‘Bramble’s visits are loved by our residents. A visiting dog brings back many memories to our Care Home residents. This lovely dog helps them relax and encourages conversation’
(Ashlea, Activities Co-ordinator)
‘Val and Maisie are integral members of our school family. All the children on the ‘Paws and Read’ scheme have met or exceeded their targets and as a result they have also developed confidence and self-esteem’
(Katy Hill, Headteacher)
‘Charlie doesn’t judge me for why I am in prison, he doesn’t know I have done wrong. I love him and he loves me and I look forward so much to his visits; they make me sad and happy at the same time. He helps me so much‘
(Female prisoner HMP New Hall)
‘It was lovely to see Harry and Mimi from Therapy Dogs Nationwide on the ward. They brought so much pleasure to the patients who met them. It demonstrated how valuable such visits are, especially to those suffering from dementia’
(Senior Nurse, NHS Hospital)
Aero was heaven sent for us. He helped my son through a very difficult afternoon. Thank you’
(Parent of a hospital patient)
‘The wonderful work done by Therapy Dogs Nationwide and the time and effort the volunteers put in is greatly appreciated by staff and residents‘
(Officer, HMP Parc)