Animal Assisted Therapy Thanks to your donations to our CRU Fund, we have helped provide therapy sessions with a difference for patients on the Complex Rehabilitation Unit. A successful three month pilot introduced animal assisted therapy. Patients would take part in sessions every two weeks with all kinds of animals, from rabbits to bearded dragons, for patients to interact with. The Occupational Therapy team identified goals for patients, such as starting conversations about the animals to improve their speech or stroke an animal with a weaker hand to strengthen it, which contributed towards their rehabilitation. “Our patients engaged so much that the goals we set for them in the sessions were surpassed by quite a margin. A big thank you goes to Jennifer Marsom, who started this all off last year before she left the Trust. It’s important to recognise The Walton Centre Charity, without their support we wouldn’t have been able to have Home Safari come in for as long as they did.”Nicola Branscombe - Occupational Therapist Home Safari works within the NHS and private healthcare sector to provide animal assisted therapy in a range of different settings. Steve Mannion and his team have facilitated sessions for more than a decade. He said: “It’s always rewarding to see a patient’s eyes light up when they see the animals. But here with the complex rehab patients it’s been even more so. They were really active, more so than we anticipated, and the clinicians say it’s really helping them recover.” With such positive results from the pilot, the therapies team is now looking to make Home Safari visits a regular occurrence. If you would like to make a donation to The Walton Centre Charity please click here. Your donation will make a real difference to patients treated at the hospital now and in the future.