Trust volunteers Chris and Bernese Mountain dog Rodney bring joy to patients’ day

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As part of Volunteer Week (3-9 June), we heard about Chris, a registered Nottinghamshire Healthcare Volunteer, and the fantastic work she does supporting patients with her dog Rodney, a three-year-old Bernese Mountain dog, who currently visits the National High Secure Learning Disabilities Care services at Rampton Hospital.

As a Care Dog he has been visiting regularly now for around three months and has regular patient visitors who can’t wait to spend time with him.

Lyndsey Harding, Day Unit Manager, National Services Learning Disabilities Care Stream said: “Rodney loves visiting the patients. He is like a big fluffy bear, who weighs around seven stone, and likes to sit on your feet. When visiting he now knows where he is going and knows that it means treats, cuddles and a good groom! His favourite thing is to lay upside down so his belly can be brushed, and if you stop you may get a paw on your head, to tell you to continue!”

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Rodney and his brother Ryley (who visits patients within the mental health services at Rampton), are both part of Canine Concern, which is the Charity that does the assessments and temperament checks with potential Care dogs.

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Chris and Rodney see around 10-12 patients each time they come in, and sometimes three to four of these are patients that are in long term segregation.

Adele Fox, Forensic Care Group Director at Nottinghamshire Healthcare said: “We are really grateful that Chris takes the time to bring Rodney in to see our patients. They have both become an important part of the service, and patients really look forward to their visit. Being able to be hands on with Rodney allows patients that physical touch and warmth that they struggle to get within their current setting. Thank you both for bringing such joy to their day.”

We are always looking for more dogs and volunteers!! If you’d be interested in getting involved you can find out more on our website.