Headway Suffolk expands Brainy Dogs project

1 February 2019, 08:11 | Updated: 1 February 2019, 08:13

Family with dog

Headway Suffolk is expanding its programme that trains rescue dogs to provide life-changing support to adults living with neurological conditions.

The Brainy Dogs project will help others too.

"We're now going be working with prisoners, probation, children struggling in mainstream education, veterans and mental health," co-ordinator Sophie Wellum-Mayes told Heart.

"And our aim is those volunteers will be helping us train {the} rescue dogs."

Once trained, the dogs give patients the chance to take home a furry four-legged friend who can offer companionship, helping to support their rehabilitation.

The idea is that those who train the dogs will gain new skills too.

Headway Suffolk will expand their service by working with a number of organisations to encourage social engagement within communities. Raedwald Trust - an education provider for teenagers who have been excluded from mainstream education - carried out a pilot and are now keen to join the scheme longer term.

Organisations which support individuals on probation, those living with mental health issues, young people who struggle at school and veterans will be supported through the programme and could significantly benefit from training the dogs.