05 July 2019

The Occupational Therapy Department at ELFT’s Newham Centre for Mental Health (NCMH) proudly launched Animal Assisted Therapy in Newham on Thursday 27 June 2019.

Animal Assisted Therapy is the successful result of a multidisciplinary and multi-agency collaboration with partners within and outside the Trust - the Pets as Therapy charity, the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, teams at Newham Centre for Mental Health.

Marcia Sommers, occupational therapist at Newham Centre for Mental Health, project initiator and project lead said:

“It has taken perseverance, resilience, passion and patience, but it’s all worth it for the patients.”

Kim Poynter, Life Skills Recovery Worker was one of the core members of the team, whose enthusiasm has kept the project alive.

Suhailah Mohamed, occupational therapist and organiser of the event said:

"The next step for us is to help other teams introduce Animal Assisted Therapy within their service so that more people continue to benefit from it.”

Ultimately, the star of the show was Dodger, a highly trained and experienced therapy dog that everyone loved.