Wellness garden created at Dogs Trust Shoreham Rehoming Centre

Staff and volunteers at Dogs Trust Shoreham have joined together to create cool, calming spaces to enjoy with the dogs now summer has arrived.

Led by Maintenance Operative Ryan Hawkins (pictured above with Banjo), the team are creating a “Wellness Garden” and shelters where staff and their four-legged friends can go to relax – and do a bit of gardening if they wish.

The team are currently growing tomatoes, sweetcorn, pumpkin and courgettes, all of which have been donated by staff and volunteers, and are in the process of creating a herb garden to provide the dogs with some sensory stimulation.

Ryan, who has worked at Dogs Trust Shoreham since 2019, says: “We have 40 acres of green land on site which is incredible, but we wanted to create a dedicated space where staff and our dogs can take a breather and just enjoy some relaxation in a quiet space.

“It is definitely still a work in progress but as well as the vegetables we currently have lavender and parsley, which the dogs love to sniff, and in the coming weeks we will plant more herbs, as well as see the fruits of our labour so to speak in terms of the vegetables we are growing.”

Ryan, along with Volunteer Gardener and Grounds Assistant Phil Green are also creating more shelters to provide shade for dogs in the summer, or protection from winter weather.

Manager of Dogs Trust Shoreham, Adel Burnett, says: “The last year has proven to us all how important our mental health and wellbeing are, so we decided that we’d all work together to create more spaces where staff and our dogs can chill out and take a few moments together.

“Thanks to the players of People’s Postcode Lottery whose support helps to fund our Maintenance Operative post, and thanks to our volunteer Phil, we’ve made great progress and will have time to enjoy the benefits in the weeks and months to come.”

If you would like to know more about the dogs waiting for their forever homes at Dogs Trust Shoreham, please go to www.dogstrust.org.uk/rehoming.