21st Jan, 2019

Shirley volunteer brings canine therapy to those living with dementia in Solihull

Sarah Mason 16th Aug, 2017

A KIND-HEARTED Shirley woman has found the perfect way to bring two causes close to her heart together.

Laura Dawson has used abandoned greyhounds from the Birmingham Greyhound Protection to comfort dementia sufferers at Phoenix House extra care accommodation as part of a therapy.

The E.On worker has been helping at Birmingham Greyhound Protection for the last four years, visiting the dogs in their kennels a couple of times a month, taking them out for walks and raising funds for the charity through supermarket bag-packing initiatives.

Laura also volunteers her time as one of the company’s Charity Champions, co-ordinating fundraising activities for Alzheimer’s Society, which is the power company’s official charity partner.

Laura jumped at the chance to help both charities when Birmingham Greyhound Protection was approached recently by Alzheimer’s Society and asked about the possibility of taking some dogs into the Phoenix House extra care accommodation in Solihull.

Laura said: “For me, this was an opportunity to explore how two charities close to my heart could be brought together.

“Watching the members of the early onset dementia group from Phoenix House interact with the greyhounds was a really humbling experience.

“By their nature, greyhounds are gentle and placid dogs and they’re often used as therapy dogs.

“The dogs from Birmingham Greyhound Protection we took to Phoenix House – Archie, Layla and Cassidy – brought a calming influence with them, and I think everyone in the room gained from the experience.”

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