Our Special Friends
West End House
- Do you need:
- Practical help with your existing pet?
- A new animal companion?
- A 'visiting' pet to brighten your day?
- Difficult decision about your pet?
- We can help!
Our Special Friends
Our Special Friends is a young charity which aims to support human-animal relationships - and to enable them to continue despite changes in circumstance if possible. Specifically we aim to:
Offer practical and emotional support to enable those facing difficult times to benefit from animal companionship.
The help we offer includes:
- Providing dog-walking or accompanied walking via our volunteers or others
- Offering advice and practical support via our volunteers to keep a pet living with its owner
- Arranging regular visits from a volunteer with their own dog
- Sourcing, introducing and monitoring a new pet
- Supporting and empowering difficult decisions.
This work includes:
- Providing advice and support pre-, during and post-bereavement in collaboration with other support networks where appropriate
- Encouraging advance planning for the care of the animal to give peace of mind.
Examples of human organisations: Cruse, St Nicholas Hospice, Parkinson’s UK and Age UK. Examples of companion animal organisations: The Cinnamon Trust, Dogs Trust, World Horse Welfare and Cats Protection. Support networks include dementia and befriending groups
Educating professionals and volunteers in the fields of social care, human and animal health about the benefits of supporting human-animal relationships.
What makes us different?
Many charities help vulnerable people while others work with animals. We are spanning the divide - working with both human and animal-focused organisations - keeping people and their pets together if possible; providing support through bereavement (human or pet) and sourcing suitable companions or other forms of animal contact for vulnerable people who have lost - or can no longer keep - a pet. Other unique aspects of our work are that:
Through the support we provide, we may sometimes be able to identify unmet health and social care needs of vulnerable people which may be concealed from others. We can then put them in touch with other social and health care providers.
Our service is offered to all in need of it regardless of age or location (for instance, whether they are in their own home, a hospice, a nursing home etc). We work both through our own volunteers and collaborate with other social and healthcare professionals.
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