Lucy Ferman-Moore from Dulwich, is calling on local dog owners to become a Pets As Therapy volunteer and help King’s College Hospital patients.
Lucy has been volunteering at the Trust alongside her 13-year-old chocolate Labrador, Harvey, since August 2019. She and Harvey visit patients of all ages in the hospital, many of whom are dog lovers. Lucy said: “Harvey is a familiar face on hospital wards, and he brings everyone a lot of joy. Many patients have pets at home that they’re missing, and Harvey puts a huge smile on their face.”
Harvey is one of 14 dogs who visit patients, visitors and staff on wards, and the hospital is in urgent need of more volunteers. Lucy added: “As a local resident, King’s College Hospital has a special place in my heart. My three children were born here, one very prematurely, and received outstanding care. When I retired, I wanted to give something back. I could see how much people love being around Harvey, and it’s a great feeling when he brightens up someone’s day. He has the ability to lift the mood of a whole ward. I’d encourage any dog owners with some time to spare to get involved.”
Dog owners can sign up to volunteer through the Pets as Therapy charity, and all volunteer dogs need to complete an assessment. Owners also need to undertake training and DBS checks to volunteer at the hospital. Petula Storey, Head of Volunteering at King’s College Hospital, said: “Harvey has a very calm and gentle nature, which makes him a real hit with young children, as well as our older patients. Animals can have a real benefit to our wellbeing, and so many of our patients find comfort and stress- relief just sitting with Harvey. We’d love to hear from anyone with a few hours to spare and a dog they’d like to share with our patients.”
For more information about becoming a Pets As Therapy volunteer at King’s College Hospital, contact email@example.com or call 0203 299 5510.