To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, Barking Heads is partnering with Pets As Therapy and James Middleton to help raise awareness and support the charity’s fundraising efforts.
The national charity, Pets As Therapy (PAT), sends trusted volunteers and their behaviourally assessed animals out on therapeutic visits to hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes and special need schools.
The service has a very positive impact on the communities it touches, with studies suggesting that pets can ease loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and even improve cardiovascular health.
James Middleton is an ambassador for PAT with first-hand experience of mental health difficulties. He has spoken opening in the past about his personal battles and speaks very passionately about how his own dogs – Ella, Zulu, Inka, Luna and Mabel – helped him on the road to recovery.
James will be joining PAT representative Matthew Robinson to host an exclusive live session on the Barking Heads Instagram channel on Thursday 21st May, to talk about the charity’s invaluable work and answering questions from the public.
Alongside side this, Barking Heads is fundraising throughout the week for PAT, a cause that’s close to the heart of all its staff.
The team will be undertaking various personal challenges, including attempting half marathons, cycling the gruelling equivalent of the Tour De France’s first stage and one team member is attempting to cover the elevation of Everest.
James Middleton says: “I believe dogs are the one animal that really loves you more than they love themselves. My personal experience of the comfort, happiness and companionship of dogs inspired me to get involved with the PAT team.
“Now as a result, my own dogs Ella and Mabel, are both full-fledged therapy dogs and I’m committed to helping people to learn more about the life-changing support PAT offers. This week offers us all an important opportunity to tackle the sigma still so often associated with mental health issues and I’m looking forward to helping Barking Heads in their efforts to raise more awareness and funds.”
Barking Heads Marketing Director, Julie Anderton says: “Mental Health is a deeply personal battle and pets can provide an invaluable amount of support. We’re all genuine pet lovers at Barking Heads and most of us own dogs who are an enormous comfort.
“As a closely-knit team, separated by social distancing, we’re all increasingly grateful for the pets who are keeping us company and lifting our spirits. This collaboration is something each one of us feels very passionate about. We hope by setting ourselves some personally challenges to raise money, we can helps Pets As Therapy deliver valuable support to the people who need it most. We’re all very thankful to James for joining our community for the live session and helping us get the message out to as many people as possible.”
For more information visit www.barkingheads.co.uk