Tŷ Hafan is a very special place for me and has had a big place in my heart since I became a volunteer with my "merry band of animals" three years ago!
I am a veterinary nurse and I truly believe animals can offer so much more than just being companion animals. They say you shouldn't work with children or animals, and I love both, which probably says a lot about me!
I remember my first session so well as I was very nervous and didn't really know what a hospice environment and atmosphere would be like. But in one session I fell in love with the place; its setting, staff, and what it offered to families.
I have been so lucky that over the years I have been able to see so many children during my visits. What makes it most worthwhile and reaffirms the love of what I do there is the recognition from the children when we walk in, although I am well aware it's the animals they remember and are more excited to see again, and not me!
I also to do my sessions with their siblings, parents and grandparents, who often enjoy my visits just as much as the children. Wobbly bob, the three-legged cat, is probably the most loved and has been coming with me every visit since we started. He has many fans amongst the staff as well as the children and will be found in his favourite spot, on the couch in the lounge area, where he has spent many hours curled up with the children, whilst they often plot to take him home!
Lenny the bearded dragon, Doug the tortoise and in previous years Rhydian, the albino hedgehog, have made many Tŷ Hafan friends alongside me. Volunteering at Tŷ Hafan is a love of mine however I am more than grateful that Tŷ Hafan and the families they support allow me to share my time with them and for that I say "thank you" x x