Two popular members of staff at Hartpury University and College are helping to provide companionship and support to students and improve their wellbeing and mental health.
Dogs Ralph and Bailey, a Labrador and Cocker Spaniel, are both registered with the charity Pets As Therapy, and are performing such an important role that they even have their own staff cards.
Jake Marks, Student Experience Manager and Head Warden at Hartpury, said, “Ralph and Bailey have quickly become very valuable members of the Hartpury community. Everyone benefits from spending time with them, along with gaining from the other support services we provide.
“It doesn’t take long to see the positive effects that Ralph and Bailey have on students who are perhaps homesick, missing their own pets, or feeling anxious ahead of their upcoming exams. Our students say they really enjoy having them around, which is great.”
Jake, who owns Ralph, added, “As part of our commitment to providing the highest level of animal welfare, it is important that Ralph and Bailey benefit from the interaction too, of course, and we manage their diaries very carefully.”
Bailey is owned by Jess Byrom, a Mental Health Adviser and Learning Support Adviser at Hartpury. Both dogs are residential and live with their owners on campus.
As well as Ralph and Bailey, Hartpury also provides students with a wide range of specialist support services on campus including the Student Zone where they can access advice on wellbeing, finance and accommodation.