Our Day Hospice programme has various elements for people who attend, one of which includes animal therapy. Here is Melissa from Weird ‘N’ Wonderful explaining what it’s like to bring animals to the Hospice and the effect it has on those who come to our Day Hospice…

What have been the most popular animals you’ve brought to Birmingham St Mary’s?

I think the mammals are usually the most popular especially Matilda, our skunk. The visitors tend to connect with them in a very unique way.

How do our Day Hospice visitors react to the animals?

We get a mixture of reactions, some visitors love to hold and touch the animals, others prefer to talk to us about them and ask questions but the animals are always a great way of engaging with people whether they are usually animal lovers or not.

Do you have a favourite memory from working at Birmingham St Mary’s?

Sox our eldest raccoon loves to visit and the last time we brought him all the visitors were giving him grapes which are his favourite. Normally, he walks around the floor taking his grapes and allowing people to stroke him but one particular lady he took great interest in and decided he wanted to curl up on her lap much to her delight.

We have been providing visits to Birmingham St Mary’s for a few years now and we always love coming to visit and see the impact the animals have on people. Whether it’s the smiles it puts on their faces, or the distraction it gives them from other things that they may be having to face, seeing the positive engagement the animals provide makes every visit special for us.

To find out more about our Day Hospice, please click here.