Well it’s been far too long since I updated the blog but the diary has been chocka block for quite a few months! Finding the time to have a bath has been challenging and I felt that the general public would approve more of an ‘abluted’ representative for HumAnima CIC rather than a frazzled one!

Where to begin though! I’ve had several meetings with a few organisations to discuss the possibility of working with them to deliver courses and therapy programmes. Finance continues to be an issue for the majority of them but there are a few who know that it is wise to invest in NEW opportunities especially in hard times like these and so 2013 will hopefully include new partnerships and collaborations with some really forward-thinking organisations!

Perhaps I should have started with our biggest achievement of 2012 though…? In November I put in an entry for HumAnima CIC for the Social Enterprise West Midlands Awards. I entered us into Prima award, which was the award for innovation. It was a very short turnaround time for shortlisting and notification but we were quickly informed that we had been shortlisted! Now to be shortlisted, was an achievement in itself as we were up against many other entries (I can’t remember the exact number. Must check!) so that put a smile on my face. Unfortunately, the date of the award ceremony clashed with a previous engagement I had to deliver a Pets As Therapy visit but thankfully I was able to rearrange that for February. On the night in question, our category had 4 entrants a few of whom I was already aware of and knew were fantastic and indeed innovative social enterprises! It was an honour to be considered alongside them – Start Again CIC and Miss Macaroon were the two that received Highly Commended awards and at that point I held my breath… I was ecstatic (and quite wobbly on my legs!) when HumAnima CIC was chosen and awarded the Social Enterprise West Midlands 2012 Prima Award by Price Waterhouse Coopers!

PwC had this to say for the award – “Highlighting a business that innovates beyond all expectations, HumAnima CIC displayed a unique concept with a sustainable idea that can be taken forward in the future.

So as you can see, we’ve finally achieved success and recognition and were honoured to receive it from such a prestigious body. A step in the right direction one might say 🙂

But now, Christmas has passed (and I hope you all had a joyous one!) and the New Year is upon us. Many of us are working on our new years resolutions (my list is going to be long…) and my plans for HumAnima CIC are extensive. This is going to very much be a “doing” and “achieving” year. Time to put HumAnima CIC on the map. Which reminds me – on the same day as the Award ceremony, I had a wonderful injection of hope. A lady, whom I’d never met before was introduced to me, upon which she said “Oh you’re the lady from HumAnima CIC!”! It’s times like that that remind me that all the hard work that is going in, will reap rewards! However, I must add that I am not doing this for prestige, money or fame. Not in the slightest. My motivation is to infuse people with the same passion and enthusiasm that I have for safe and beneficial interaction with animals (amongst other things!).

So now, I have to kickstart my mojo and start planning for 2013 and pull out all the stops. You have a LOT to look forward to in 2013:

–  NEW WebinarAn Introduction to Animal Assisted Therapy in Counselling. This will be a 6 week course (1hr a week for 6 weeks) whereby participants will learn the ideas behind incorporating Animal Assisted Therapy into Counselling. Participants can interact live with the webinar or download and watch/ listen later at their convenience. The first webinar will be ABSOLUTELY FREE! After that webinar modules are priced at £15 each or £65 for all 5! Places are limited as we don’t want the experience to be too limiting! DATES TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON! (Please note, the webinars will be run through www.anymeeting.com which requires a login. However, you can also login using your Google account if you have one)

 Walk My Dog” Mobile App – Our new app is currently in development and we are raising funds and investment to bring it to the market. We are working together with Coventry University’s Serious Games Institute and anticipating a release later this year! VERY EXCITING! I know I can’t wait! 🙂

NEW 3 DAY COURSE “Animal Assisted Therapy in Counselling” – This new course will look at the ideas, ethos and practicalities of incorporating Animal Assisted Therapy into Counselling practice. Whether you are a student, psychotherapist, counsellor, health care professional, mental health worker or the like or are simply interested in the benefits of working with animals in mental health then this is the course for you! Based on our already successful one day “Animal Assisted Therapy in Counselling” course that ran in 2012, this one looks at the ideas and practice in more depth and will include some hands on experience with potential furry (or feathered or scaled?!) co-therapists, role play – giving participants an idea of how it works in reality and will also look at the “behind-the-scenes” considerations that need to be made when working with animals in your counselling practice! The course will run one day a month over 3 months (one Saturday per month) and will be based in Wolverhampton. I am currently looking at dates to start in March 2013. Please email me for more information.

So here are some tidbits to whet your appetite for 2013! I will have the dates ready for you soon so be prepared to put some time aside to discover more about the magic and potential of the human-animal bond and what it can do for you and others!