Welcome to Nurture Dogs
Nurture Dogs CIC is a Community Interest Company founded by Dave and Gill De’ath and run mostly by volunteers, some currently trained Occupational Therapists or have experience working with a range of special needs and client groups.
Nurture Dogs aim is to bring the pleasure and therapeutic value of the human bond to as many people as possible. We combine animal contact and activities with the therapeutic philosophy of Occupational Therapy.
Nurture Dogs majors on empowering people, providing choices and opportunities where perhaps these do not exist.
This aligns with the local government agenda which is to support people with learning difficulties and mental health problems in the community and avoid acute admissions to hospital.
It is becoming recognised in mental health circles that problems often begin as early junior school, this is one of the main areas that Nurture Dogs Functions in and currently enjoying considerable success.
Animals As Therapy
Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) promotes mental, physical and social well-being. The human-animal bond allows strong connections to grow and develop, with animals offering unconditional acceptance and affection.
It is well documented that humans have kept domesticated animals for thousands of years, providing humans with companionship. Animals are used for therapeutic purposes as they tend to be free of prejudice when interacting with people (Calcaterra et al., 2015). Animals used in therapy are known to have a natural tendency to bond with people and seek affection and interaction with the client (Nimer & Lundahl, 2007).
Many people can benefit from the therapeutic value of the human-animal bond. Research shows that time spent interacting with animals can help in lowering blood pressure , relieving pain, reducing anxiety and engage them in therapeutic activities through meaningful occupations such as; animal husbandry, feeding, grooming and stroking.
Here at Nurture Dogs we offer individual and group therapy!
Our sessions are designed to support your interests and needs in your home, care home, dementia home, mental health secure units, acute units, assessment and treatment centres, hospitals, schools or local community. These sessions involve the use of dogs which acts as a social lubricant and facilitates engagement even for the most profoundly disabled clients.
A range of activities can help with the following:
- Improve self-esteem & social skills
- Enhance sensory stimulation
Increase motor coordination
We offer a six-week animal therapy programme for school children with low self-esteem or confidence, disabilities, poor attendance and difficulties engaging with the school education system.
“It is a wonderful programme which benefits all of those who take part. If it were part of the National curriculum it would get an Ofsted outstanding!”
~ St. Martin’s Primary School, Brentwood.
Nurture Dogs also undertake once-per-week animal therapy sessions in private hospitals and secure units with adults on the Autistic Spectrum or with a dual diagnosis, as well as sessions in care homes for residents with learning disabilities and dementia.
“Man through the use of his hands as they are energized by mind and will, can influence the state of his own health.” (Mary Reily, 1987).
- Group Sessions start at £65.00 per hour (plus mileage if over 10 miles away, 0.45p per mile)
- One to One / Individual Sessions start at £20.00 per hour (plus mileage if over 10 miles away, 0.45p per mile)
Occupational Therapy Assessments can be arranged on request, please email for more details and cost.
All our Dogs are well trained, well behaved and just love to work with people and children.
We have 8 Nurture Dogs that are used on the farm and in the community.
Mila, Tom, Badger, Bumble, Skye, Cookie, Misty and our new puppy Willow. To read more on the dogs please click on the Nurture Dogs tab above and select a dogs name.
“The use of therapy dogs has made a huge difference to a number of our ASD patients, with an improvement in both behaviour and mental health. I hope the use of such therapy dogs will continue and most families/funders are usually impressed at meetings when told this is available.”
~ Dr. Josephine Opute, Consultant Psychiatrist, Cambian Fairview.
“As a community-based service, we found the pet therapy sessions to be of great benefit to our clients. Those who attended live in varied settings, some in 24/7 supported living, some lived independently, some with parents and some with elderly parents. All did not have access to a pet dog at home, with the sessions promoting interaction between group members, social skill development, improvement of self esteem and reduced anxiety.”
~ Julie Peacock, OT Therapy Technician, South Essex Partnership University.
“The Nurture Dogs team have been visiting Woodland View Care home for 2-3 months now and have become a regular event residents really look forward to each fortnight.
As well as a ‘Meet & Greet’ in the coffee lounge upon arrival at the home, where there are always a number of residents actually waiting for the dogs to arrive, the team visit those residents who are either bedbound or not feeling 100% on the day. The smiles on residents faces as the dogs enter a room is truly heart-warming and it’s very clear the pleasure the four legged visitors bring to someone’s day.
As Activities Coordinator at Woodland View I have been looking for dogs to visit the residents for so long and I am delighted with Nurture Dogs. They come with my highest recommendation.”
~ Kevin Riley, Activities Coordinator, Woodland View Care Home.
“Every student who was supported by Nurture Dogs increased their school attendance.”
“The intervention was very effective; above all it enabled our students to have a meaningful sensory experience.”