Scamper is a Pets As Therapy (PAT) volunteer at Acorns. He and his owner, Alex, volunteer their time and come into the hospice to meet the children. What is a PAT volunteer? Let Scamper tell you.
Hello. My name is Scamper, I’m a ten year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and I volunteer at Acorns with my owner Alex.
I love coming to Acorns as it’s such a lovely place. I can just tell that it’s special as it feels really happy and positive.
As soon as I arrive with Alex I jump out of the car and run straight to the front door. I can’t wait to go on duty!
To become a PAT volunteer, Alex and I had to do lots of training and tests to prove that I am happy and sensible when around children.
It’s very important that you remain calm and understand that some children are more delicate than others. You can’t go charging around or barking as it could be scary.
During our visits I may go for a walk around the garden with the children. They may stroke my fur. Sometimes we just sit on the sofa together.
I’m quite good at knowing when they just want to sit still and have some quiet time.
One of my favourite things about my role is sitting on their laps and being stroked and fussed. I like to think that I help them relax and feel at home.
Specially trained dogs like me can really help the children who come to the hospice. We can cheer them up and bring a bit of fun into their day.
For children who may be feeling a little lonely or who find it hard to communicate, being able to interact with me, even if it’s just stroking my fur, can help.
Seeing children immersed in the moment and smile, no matter what is going on in their lives is wonderful.
Coming to Acorns is very exciting as I love being around people, especially children. Everyone is really friendly, and they have the best biscuits. Alex says I get spoilt when we visit Acorns.
I feel extremely proud to be a little part of what Acorns do. I feel it’s a real privilege to support the children as I think they’re pretty extraordinary.
We can only continue caring for children and families with your support. By keeping you up to date with our work, news, fundraising and ways to support, we can let you know the difference you are making. If you would like to keep updated, please let us know how.