This Mental Health Awareness Week, Wiltshire-based raw pet food company, Poppy’s Picnic, invited the residents of Dauntsey House Care Home in Devizes to experience the therapeutic power of pets during a special picnic lunch at its HQ. The event was held to raise awareness of mental health issues, support Mental Health Awareness Week, and demonstrate the incredible role our four-legged friends can play in helping people to cope with conditions such as depression, stress and loneliness.
Residents of the care home were introduced to the company’s CED (Chief Exectuvie Dog), Poppy, the miniature schnauzer who stole the hearts of the Dragons on BBC’s Dragons’ Den (where founder Dylan Watkins and his business partner Louise Mackintosh were offered four investment opportunities). Poppy was joined by her two daughters, Katie and Slipper and new arrival Gaby. Also in attendance were two dogs, Krumble and Inky, and their handlers from Therapy Dogs Nationwide, a charity set up and run by volunteers who have a lot of expertise in many different aspects of therapy work with dogs. They take their specially tested dogs to visit people in different kinds of establishments such as: schools, special needs schools, hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, care centres and prisons helping people from all walks of life overcome their own special problems and challenges such as depression, ill health or loneliness. They also help adults and children overcome their fear of dogs.
On hand to give practical advice on all aspects of dealing with stress, anxiety and depression was leading Chartered Psychologist Kyle Davies, BSc MPhil CPsychol AFBPsS, author of ‘The Intelligent Body’ and creator of Energy-Flow Coaching. Kyle has been treating sufferers of conditions such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety and stress for over 15 years with a new pioneering approach which helps sufferers to heal themselves from the inside out by reconceptualising the relationships among their bodies, minds, and emotions, embracing the full importance of the mind-body connection, and tapping their natural restorative capacities.
Mr Davies said: “We are seeing almost epidemic proportion of people struggling with symptoms of anxiety, depression and other related health challenges, not only in the UK but further afield as well.
“Animals such as dogs are great facilitators; the connection they develop with their owners, coupled with exercise, getting outdoors and socialising with other pet owners, offer great benefit and can be a wonderful supplement to therapeutic interventions such as energy-flow coaching."
Commenting on the success of the Poppy’s Picnic lunch, Poppy’s Picnic founder and recent recipient of the Business Start-Up of the Year award at the Wiltshire Business Awards, Dylan Watkins said,
“When Poppy entered my life nearly ten years ago, she brought me such joy. Mental health is a cause that’s close to our hearts, and Poppy’s Picnic recognises the role that our four-legged friends can play in achieving wellbeing. After I’d seen how much my grandmother connected with Poppy on a recent visit, Mental Health Awareness Week seemed the perfect opportunity to share the experience with the elderly members of our community. To see the ladies of Dauntsey House take delight in our four-legged friends was fabulous, and we hope this marks the first of many visits.”
The Poppy’s Picnic Facebook page has also been filled by those unable to attend the event with heart-warming stories from followers on Facebook who have shared their experiences of how their pets have made a difference to their lives, helping them to overcome many life challenges.
Poppy’s Picnic will be making a donation to the Mental Health Foundation who campaign on many issues to do with mental health to bring about change and improvement in both the workplace and community.
For further information on Poppy’s Picnic visit: www.poppyspicnic.co.uk or contact firstname.lastname@example.org