Therapy Dogs Nationwide is a new Charity which began in early 2016 and continues to grow on a daily basis. The Charity is run by volunteers for volunteers; there are no paid members of staff. There are 5 Trustees, Eileen Hodge, Mary Oliver MBE, Eileen Slattery, Leisl de Lafontaine and Ruth Boyes BEM; Eileen Slattery is the present Chair of the Trustees.
All 5 Trustees have many years' experience of working with Therapy dogs and because of their dedication, hard work and a strong belief in what they are doing, there are now over 500 volunteers 'working' across the UK and new volunteers are always welcome.
Every prospective dog is assessed for its suitability by a trained assessor in order to ensure the dog has the right temperament and the owner is made fully aware of what is expected from both them and their dog. All breeds and cross breeds are accepted as TDN dogs; it is their temperament and good health which is important.
Once assessed, these wonderful dogs along with their owners, visit many types of establishments: hospitals, hospices, care homes, prisons, secure mental health units, stroke rehabilitation wards, schools and indeed any establishment where the dog can give unconditional love and be totally non-judgmental. Working alongside a Psychologist, a TDN dog can help dog-phobic children.
A very important part of TDN's work is the 'Paws to Read' scheme. For many reasons, some children are often reluctant to read out loud to their peers. These children often respond to a TDN dog who 'listens' to them reading. Teachers across the UK have reported that many children have gained in confidence whilst reading to the dog and, show at the same time, a marked improvement in his/her personal development.
More information about TDN can be found on the website below: