Briggs Equipment’s Karen Jones and her therapy dogs are helping to spread cheer, lift spirits and improve the wellbeing of local communities through tough times.
Following the tragic Manchester Arena bombing in 2017 and the subsequent support provided to the arena and staff by Briggs Equipment, Karen was inspired to lend a helping hand with her licensed therapy dogs. After reaching out to hospitals in Manchester they soon became the resident therapy dogs, not only visiting the wards at Manchester Royal Hospital and Manchester Children’s Hospital, but also becoming part of the wellbeing programme for medical students and junior doctors to relieve stress before their exams.
Briggs has provided its full support to Karen and in addition to becoming a sponsor, Briggs have provided bandanas for the dogs as well as giving Karen a day away from work each month to organise and carry out the visits.
Karen said “I knew that I had something to offer with my dogs. Roxy, Diva, Harry, Dennis and Riot love the attention of interacting and they bring great comfort and joy. Patting a dog and seeing it respond gives people a little extra boost in addition to medical and nursing care. Sick or withdrawn patients always perk up when they have a visit from the four-legged friends, and even those who say they’re not fond of dogs have been known to raise a smile when they see a happy face and wagging tail!”
Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions, hospital visits had to be suspended, but this didn’t put a stop to Karen and her dogs continuing their excellent work. Karen contacted Merseyside Police to offer the support of her therapy dogs and received an instant yes. The dogs were very quickly embraced as key members of the police wellbeing department, and now even have their own police warrant cards, as well as being invited by the Chief Constable to attend her morning meeting alongside senior officers!
This November has been a particularly stressful time for the Merseyside Police, so the dogs have been making extra visits to the stations in central Liverpool to provide some much-needed extra support and festive cheer to the hardworking staff and officers.
Karen added “Words cannot express how proud I am of them all. When we arrive, everyone is sat waiting for us and the joy they bring is priceless. I feel so honoured that my dogs are bringing so much happiness to very busy and stressful lives!”