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25th Jan, 2022

Bromsgrove mental health nurse and her therapy dogs nominated for award

A CHILD and adolescent mental health nurse from Bromsgrove and her therapy dogs have been nominated for an award.

Jackie Shakespeare works at Woodbourne Priory Hospital in Edgbaston and specialises in working with young people between 12 and 18.

There are 20,000 people working for the Priory group and Jackie made it down to the final three, narrowly missing out on the top prize.

She told the Standard it was great for her and therapy dogs Brian and Trevor to be recognised for the work she did, especially as it was the young people on her ward and her manager and senior management team who put her name forward.

“The dogs’ presence helps so much with young people who are anxious, agitated and have low moor – the effect they have is amazing.

“I was so pleased – I had worked there for 16 years and, although I do feel appreciated in my role, this recognition was fantastic.”

Jackie heard the NHS was piloting therapy dogs a while ago and – although the Priory is private – the patients she works with are NHS funded.

She has had Brian for five years and Trevor for the last couple of years.

“I’m thankful to work as well as they were so open to the idea and it has really paid off.

“A lot of the adults love having them around as well.

“Even if they are in a really low mood, they are lifted by the dogs’ presence – it’s completely transformational and really makes their day.

“The dogs also love it because they get loads of fuss and attention.”

The use of therapy dogs is on the increase and Jackie cannot speak highly enough of the impact they have.

The charity Pets As Therapy helps people with therapy dogs, including getting, vetting and insurance.

Jackie said if there were any people, workplaces, centres, care homes or other organisations wanted to try them they could contact the charity and find out about the thearpy dogs local to them and how to arrange a visit.

Visit petsastherapy.org for more information.

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