Hearing dogs help students and staff de-stress in puppy room


Date: 1st Feb 2017

More than 330 students and staff visited a stress-busting puppy room at Buckinghamshire New University on Monday.

Bucks Students' Union organised the day with Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, based in Saunderton, High Wycombe, to combat stress - with many of the university's students just finishing exams.

Dogs from as young as four months were visited by students and staff through the day at the High Wycombe campus on Monday and £160 was collected in donations for the charity, which trains hearing dogs to change the lives of deaf adults and children across the UK.

This is the third year the charity and Bucks Students' Union have joined forces and Amy How, Volunteering & Societies Coordinator, said the initiative is not only known to boost emotional wellbeing, but also comforting for students living away from home who miss their pets.

She added: "We are so happy to continue to support the Hearing Dogs each year. The puppy days have always been a huge success. The students get a chance to get away from exam stress and it gives the dogs a great opportunity to socialise during their training. Everyone is so happy at the end of the day and it is really rewarding for both us and hearing dogs."

The cost to train and support each hearing dog throughout their lifetime is £40,000 so Hearing Dogs rely heavily on fundraising and supporters.

Michelle Sapwell, community fundraising manager, said that initiatives such as the puppy room not only helps the students but also the dogs.

She added: "It's good for the puppies at this age to be socialised, to actually come into contact with people and to sit obediently for a period of time. When they go out to work they will be sitting with their recipients perhaps at work or in a restaurant, and they will be expected to be relaxed and calm in that environment.

"We've got trainers here today to make sure the dogs are happy and not overwhelmed but you can tell the dogs really enjoy it."


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