Students at Peter Symonds College in Winchester received a very special visitor, when Haatchi, an Anatolian Shepherd dog visited the College.

Haatchi and his owner, Colleen Drummond visited the College’s Hub; part of the pastoral support system at Peter Symonds College, aiming to support students with emotional and mental health difficulties, after being contacted by Hannah Edwards, the College’s Mental Health Advisor and Hub Co-Ordinator. When speaking to students, Hannah discovered that what they felt would benefit them most would be to interact with an animal to enhance their well-being. For many years it has been well known that animals can be used to help human beings in distress. So with this in mind, Hannah went in search of an animal for the Hub. She contacted, Therapy Dogs Nationwide, a charity providing various programmes involving dogs for the benefit of those receiving the service and was put in touch with Colleen and Haatchi.

Haatchi meets some Symonds students

Hannah says, “Haatchi and Colleen provided a very relaxing and calm atmosphere in the Hub. Some of the students who visited had had particularly bad days and it was lovely to see them smile and watch the stress melt away when Haatchi came in. Haatchi also helped students, who perhaps often lack confidence, to talk to each other and start to make friends outside of their normal social circle. We had a wonderful time and can't wait for Haatchi to come back.”

Comments from some of the students include, “Dogs make everything better. He (Haatchi) was calm and friendly.” “He (Haatchi) was really soft and cuddly and I love him.” “I liked spending time with Haatchi because he was so calm and cute which made me happy.” “I felt content, relaxed and full of life after meeting Haatchi.”

Due to the tremendously positive response Haatchi received from the students, he will be visiting the College again to provide a welcome distraction from the pressures of College life and help to alleviate students’ work and exam stress.

Posted on 09/03/17 at 12:54

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