George Brabender and his Bernese Mountain dog Bailey have been volunteering with Erskine for two years.
Spend any time with George and gentle giant Bailey and it is clear to see the difference they are making to the lives of the charity’s veterans. Once a week they visit The Erskine Home and Erskine Park Home in Bishopton. As Bailey approaches residents, their eyes light up and smiles appear as wide as the River Clyde.
Residents, many of whom are living with dementia, could not be happier to sit contentedly clapping beautiful Bailey. We know that pets are good for us and it has now been scientifically proven that the mere action of stroking a dog slows down the heartbeat, reduces blood pressure and has many health benefits. Erskine residents who have previously owned a dog are particularly pleased to receive a visit from George and Bailey.
Photo: George and Bailey
George first considered volunteering when he met someone who took his St Bernard dog into hospitals and universities. Three year old Bailey is now registered as a therapet dog with the charity Canine Concert Scotland Trust.
George, who is from Beith in Ayrshire said: “I wholeheartedly recommend volunteering to anyone, not necessarily with a therapet dog like I do, but in a role that suits you. I receive so much satisfaction from seeing residents happy. I like to see Bailey’s reaction to different people and their reaction to him. For me it’s all about giving something back. Spending time at Erskine is very rewarding for me, for Bailey and for the residents.
“A visit from Bailey can brighten up a resident’s day especially those living with dementia. He knows who he is going to visit and what rooms he is going to. Residents might be sleeping when we go in but as soon as they see him they are alert and smiling, happy to see their canine pal. Erskine do a wonderful job. Their homes and rooms are fabulous and Bailey knows where his friends are!”
Photo: George and gentle giant Bailey
Erskine Volunteer Development Manager Diane McAllister said: “We have a wonderful family of volunteers here at Erskine like George and Bailey who give of their time for our veterans. There are many different roles including befrienders, activity helpers, drivers, volunteers in our shop and café and speech and language volunteers. Without the incredible support of our 200 plus volunteers many of the extra activities our residents enjoy would not be possible. We would be delighted to hear from anyone who has some free time in their week.”
Volunteer support is sought in Erskine’s care homes in Bishopton, Glasgow and Edinburgh. No experience is required and training will be given. For further information contact Diane on 0141 814 4689 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Could 2019 be the year you volunteer to support Erskine’s veterans?