Hope has welcomed a new member of the team- Bonnie, Hope’s new therapy dog.
Bonnie is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and is just 9 weeks old, but will grow up and be professionally trained as a therapy dog.
Bonnie will be cared for by Maggie Devlin, Team Leader at Hope House. Maggie is a qualified counsellor, and plans for Bonnie to accompany her to work, supporting her to undertake therapeutic activities with the clients once Bonnie has been fully trained.
Maggie came up with the idea of getting a therapy dog for the hostel when she saw the positive effect dogs had on clients staying at Hope House.
“At Hope, we welcome clients who have pets- we’re one of very few hostels in the country to do so. When we have dogs stay with us, our other clients respond so well to having a dog around. An animal is a calming presence, and we found that they were more likely to open up and talk about their experiences if a dog was present.
“Clients will also have the opportunity to take Bonnie for walks with their support worker, or book some time in with Bonnie 1-1 just to relax or play with her. It’s a way of providing therapy a bit differently to clients- we want to give clients comforting memories of their time with Bonnie and with Hope.”
Can you help with Bonnie’s vital work?
While Bonnie is a family dog, we are reliant on your donations to help Bonnie provide therapy to our homeless clients.
We need your help to purchase a therapy kit, which includes interactive therapy toys, dog brushes, a specialised harness and hug blankets. If you’d like to donate to help with Bonnie’s vital work, click here.