It is a common sight in schools across America and Australia: a furry therapy dog curled in a corner awaiting the gentle affection of a child distressed. But here in the UK therapy dogs have not yet caught on.
That makes Merseyside’s college one of the few in the UK that supports the idea that a therapy dog accessible to students can help ease their mind.
Dogs ARE good for our health!
Research tends to point to the positive psychological effects of the presence of a dog, and not just for young people. Young and old are seen to be more at ease when they are able to pet a dog. Of students, the effects are also seen of their self-esteem and sense of compassion for others.
Rolo, a chocolate cockapoo will split his time between the secondary and sixth form campuses, making himself available at lunchtime and during breaks throughout the day.
Students voted unanimously
Russell Cormack, the college’s head-teacher, told the St Helen’s Star, “It took a great deal of research and planning to get to this stage. However, eventually the students voted about the decision and the result was overwhelmingly in favour of ‘recruiting’ a therapy dog.
“We see the wonderful initiative of bringing in a therapy dog as a way of further improving our health and wellbeing provision.”
We wish Rolo every success in his new role!