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students taking dog pictures

What exam stress? Therapy dogs pay students a visit

Exams are just around the corner for many students up and down the country, and to help with the stress of revising, a group of students at the University of Westminster received a visit from the gorgeous TheraPaws dogs.

Part of The Mayhew's animal therapy visiting programme, these special dogs are often seen visiting older people in care homes, hospitals and day centres, helping to improve the relationships between humans and dogs. When they arrived at the university's campus in Marylebone, London, they were met with huge smiles and lots of attention.

student holds dog

Java and his many admirers

Volunteers' Helen Liu with her dog Java and Deborah Taffler with her dog noodle spent their free time meeting students and offering a helping paw and time out to relax.

The Mayhew’s TheraPaws Project Manager, Luke Berman, said, "I’m delighted that our TheraPaws volunteers and their dogs were able to help students during this stressful period. It was a brilliant day and we met a variety of different people.

"The main aim of the event was to help calm students’ nerves ahead of their exams and take their mind off studying by spending time interacting with our furry friends.

"The students all wanted to come over and speak to our volunteers and their dogs. It’s clear to see that they bring a lot of joy and wellbeing to people."

dog being pet

Noodle with student Sara

Students were asked to make a donation to The Mayhew Animal Home, which will help towards expanding the programme and increasing the number of volunteers and visits.

Noodle enjoys the attention

Viju Patel, Head of Counselling at the University of Westminster, added, "It has been proven that stroking a dog has a calming effect on people and helps to lower stress levels and blood pressure. That’s why we thought it would be a great idea to introduce this amazing initiative to some of our students taking exams at the moment.

"We would like to thank all of The Mayhew’s volunteers and their dogs for visiting the university. It has been really nice to see the students interacting with the dogs and it looks as though everyone has really enjoyed themselves, especially the dogs!"

dog lying down for a belly rub

Java enjoying the cuddles

The TheraPaws dogs will be returning to the University at the Harrow campus on Tuesday 9 May from 12.30pm until 2.30pm.