Animal Assisted Therapy

/Animal Assisted Therapy
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Full Steam Ahead…!!!!

Well it’s been none stop for a good few months and it’s all going swimmingly.

On the 30th August Flossie and I attended Walsall Independent Living Centre where we were invited to speak to the public, Occupational Therapists and Social Workers about the work HumAnima CIC does and the services we offer. Needless to say, Flossie received bucket loads of fuss from adults and children alike.

The icing on the cake though was definitely the beautiful bouquet of flowers AND dog treats we received as a thank you for attending! ūüôā Flossie thoroughly enjoyed her treats and I even made sure she had them all to herself rather than having to share them with her son, Dinky!

We were officially welcomed into the arms of Social Enterprise West Midlands (SEWM) earlier in September and affirmed our new collaboration with a guest blog entry on their website. This has been well received and traffic to the website and blog has been gradually growing.

In the last few weeks though development on the app idea has exploded to FULL STEAM AHEAD! I am now working with Development Keys,¬†Innovista and Coventry University’s Serious Games Institute on our new app. I am hoping to reveal all in the coming weeks as we will be presenting a blueprint, demo and design manual to potential investors at next weeks Social Enterprise West Midlands, Social Finance Fair. Everybody I have spoken to, with regards to the potential of the app has given it the thumbs up so it’s all looking very promising.

What I can say is that HumAnima CIC’s new app will act as a social catalyst and will bring dog owners and dog lovers together. With our app, users can enjoy each others and their […]

Final Video Diary with U-do

For the past few weeks, I’ve been rushed off my little feet! I don’t know whether I’m coming or going! So much has been happening! All good but I’m already contemplating retirement… Only joking!

Over the last 4 weeks I’ve been interviewed once a week by the charming, Nitya of U-do¬†about the various aspects of social enterprise development, what has helped HumAnima CIC and what people can look forward to. Last week was my final video diary (I’d never done a video diary, let alone an interview this way so it was very new territory for me! Fascinating though!) and in this one I talk about marketing – which is a continuous learning journey, can be frustrating and so requires much¬†patience!

And just a reminder that places are filling up for our “Animal Assisted Therapy in Counselling” course! Happening at Keele Sustainability Hub, Keele University on the Saturday 6th October! Places are filling up so don’t delay! Email me for more information and a course booking form.

If you have any thoughts or questions, you know where to find me ūüôā info(at)humanima.co.uk

A Dream come True

This famous song just about sums up the magic of recent developments. Jiminy Cricket, the famous Pinochio’s conscience, sang this song whilst gazing up at the stars. Whilst, as a child I found the film quite scary (the fear of being lost, not to mention mislead or being swallowed up by a giant whale…) there were elements of it that I always remembered. Jiminy’s song being one of them.

I have always been a believer in the possibility of making dreams a reality. I came to the conclusion many years ago, that I could not rely on other people to make my dreams come true; nobody knew as well as I do what my dreams actually are. Only I could do that. Hence the years of research, persistence, determination, passion and focus. Yes my goals have moulded and morphed over the years a little but the main premise remains – to enhance people’s relationships with animals, to research that relationship and to make it as positive as possible for everyone involved including the animals!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is this that has been driving me on for months now and continues to fuel my determination to make HumAnima CIC a success. And slowly but surely things are happening. Good things.

HumAnima CIC is now a proud Member of Social Enterprise West Midlands (SEWM). 

We will be receiving our members certification at the beginning of September and Flossie will be attending too!

Flossie will be joining me at Walsall Independent Living Centre on the 30th September 2012. We will be presenting to both staff and service users at a Children & Family Day about Animal Assisted Therapy and the work that HumAnima CIC is developing.

Recently, I have been interviewed by Nitya of Udo¬†and these interviews have been […]

Plan, Propose, Prepare, Prevent!

On of the biggest issues affecting the take-up of Animal Assisted Therapy here in the UK is the red tape and emphasis on health and safety. It is easy to understand why we need to keep H&S in mind, but at what point is cautious, too cautious?

Richard Louv in his book “Last Child in the Woods” (2010) coined the term “Nature Deficit Disorder” and since that time we have come across increasing news articles noting the rise in allergies, aggression and behavioural problems in children. The link has now been made between these problems and a lack of access to greenspace, nature and an increase in urban, technologically oriented society.

Some of you may have come across the recent news (except that this is old news!) confirming that children who have/ interact with animals have fewer allergies. This makes sense on so many levels – children from a young age, interacting with animals, get a chance to build up their immune system making them more resistant to conditions like allergies and making their health stronger on the whole. This is why I struggle to understand the obsessive cleanliness of some parents who by keeping their children “too” clean contribute towards the development of allergies.

It is understandable that in institutions and establishments such as hospital wards, residential homes and schools that particular care must be taken due to the increased vulnerability of this population and their weaker/ weakened immune systems. However, you can be over-cautious and in being so completely miss out on the fact that the benefits outweigh the risks!

Older people in residential homes and hospitals suffer greatly from loneliness and it is such a problem that
there is a Campaign to End Loneliness. PAT dogs and […]

NEW DATE: “Animal Assisted Therapy in Counselling” course – 6th October 2012

Following the success of our first course, the next “Animal Assisted Therapy in Counselling” course will be taking place on the 6th October 2012 at Keele Sustainability Hub, Keele University, Staffordshire.

For more details or to book a place, please email Kathryn at info(at)humanima.co.uk

Animal Assisted Therapy in Counselling course flyer

Success WILL come if you work hard enough!

It’s been a VERY busy month with lots happening. On the 18th May I presented to a group of people interested or already involved in Care Farming at a small care farm in Shopshire. The location was stunning and whilst the weather wasn’t fantastic, it was good enough for us to go for ¬†a brief tour after lunch to see some of the animals on the farm. The course looked at “Animal Assisted Therapy in Care Farming” and addressed the history of Animal Assisted Therapy, the background to Care Farming, AAT’s potential role in Care Farming, possible techniques and of course, the all essential Health & Safety! The day went very well and feedback was more than encouraging and gave me the little “oomph” I needed to prepare for the “Animal Assisted Therapy in Counselling” course.

Here is one of the feedback comments:

¬† ¬† ¬† ”¬†I thought what a lovely lass she was. All the content and information was there, and it was in informative bite sized chunks. I really enjoyed it. When I saw how she relaxed with the animals I almost wished we had done things the other way around, as she positively shone from then on.”

Well that was all the encouragement I needed to get myself into gear and prepare for the upcoming “Animal Assisted Therapy in Counselling” course. The course took place on the 9th June at Keele Sustainability Hub at Keele University, Staffordshire. It was very well attended on the day with a comfortable group size and no sooner did the click hit 9:30am than people started coming through the door. Delegates were welcomed enthusiastically by Flossie, who went up to each person, sniffed and wagged and waited for a fuss. […]

HumAnima CIC – Start with Why!

Some weeks back a dear friend of mine introduced me to a FANTASTIC Ted Talk by Simon Sinek, entitled “How great leaders inspire action”. The talk starts by asking the question why certain companies and individuals are successful – “There’s something else at play here” says Simon. He suggests that there is a pattern that all successful individuals and companies follow that he has called “The Golden Circle”. In short, these inspired leaders and organisations all communicate WHY they do what they do, WHY they exist, WHY they are different. This made an quite an impact on me especially as I always had an immense aversion to any form of sales.

This week, I attended a conference in Birmingham hosted by Social Enterprise West Midlands¬†at the lovely Concept Conference¬†Centre. The event was very well attended and with a jam packed programme I honestly didn’t think I would last the day. The subject matter? “Open Innovation”. Now what is more innovative and unique than an approach that is very fresh and new here in the UK, not familiar to many and unusual? Not to mention the business structure is a new type of structure, a Community Interest Company¬†and a social enterprise. Pretty innovative huh? So I decided to tootle along and see what I could learn.

The day looked at several social enterprises that were being innovative and unique in their own special way – Start Again CIC (whose creator, Mark I had heard speak before) is an amazing social enterprise which came about as a result of one young man recognising a need for those struggling with their mental well-being that might be addressed in a more holistic way by working on their physical well-being, social skills […]

Building Relationships with our Canine Companions

It’s been almost a month since my last post and during that time I’ve been wondering on and off what to bring to my readers. I’ve been mulling things over a lot as to what it is that matters to me, why I do what I do and even going as deep as to think about the purpose of my existence (very deep I know!).

Whilst some of you might be surprised to hear that I don’t actually consider myself a “doggy person”, over the last few years, whilst working as an assistant dog trainer, whilst yearning for my own pooch, whilst watching other people interact with theirs I can’t help but think about how deeply I’ve come to understand and appreciate that relationship. The relationship between dogs and people.

Whether that relationship is between a pet and it’s owner, someone else’s dog and a friend, a service dog and their owner, a child and a dog, a stranger and a dog or between people from different walks of life such as homeless people, the bond can be seen in all sorts of forms, shapes and contexts.

Thinking about shape and form, the first thing that comes to mind is the fact that it is something that we cannot see. It is invisible. Like emotions. Like love. Like air. We cannot see the bond but we know that relationship has substance. This brings me to Rupert Sheldrake’s theory of “morphic fields” that he summarised in his book “Dogs that Know When their Owners are Coming Home and Other Unexplained Powers of Animals” (1999). Within it, Sheldrake suggests that it is thanks to morphic fields that certain aspects of nature, growth, development and organisation happen and that they organise […]

New Exciting Course: Animal Assisted Therapy in Counselling – 9th June 2012 @ Keele Sustainability Hub

Come and join us for this exciting new course that we’ve developed here at HumAnima CIC!

Developments at HumAnima CIC & the Reality of Impact

Hi Everybody,

It’s been a while again and whilst I have not been so present in the ‘blogosphere’ my mind has been racing nineteen to the dozen with thoughts and ideas!

We have a LOT going on with HumAnima CIC – at present an application is being put together to apply for funding to deliver Counselling and Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) for free to the deprived communities in Wolverhampton. Haven’t a clue if we’ll be successful but if you don’t ask you don’t get.

I grew up in Wolverhampton, in one of the more deprived areas, so I have seen first hand what it can be like to live in this part of the community. Whilst everybody talks about pushing equality, the reality takes a lot longer to put into action. We can but chip away and push as hard as we can to contribute as much as possible to just one of the many communities that really could benefit from being given a little time, yes, money but most importantly, a listening ear. A multitude of people of different races, backgrounds and ages (to name but a few categories into which people are boxed into…) live in these areas and whilst it might seem obvious that they need money, what they could really do with is empathy, understanding and somebody willing to give them the time of day. Whilst growing up, I met a fair few people that could have been stereotyped as being, not so approachable, scary, stupid, dull or “benefit scroungers” who, if you took a moment to get to know them are in fact friendly (perhaps a bit shy), misunderstood, undervalued, ignored or disabled. In this way I feel I have been most lucky […]