Residents at The Hollies in Hessle were recently pleasantly surprised when a special visitor stopped by their home.
The Hollies is always on the lookout for new and interesting activities that their residents will enjoy. Manager Lauren and the Hollies team discussed several ideas and decided on the perfect surprise for the residents – a visit from Buddy the Shetland Pony!
The team at The Hollies arranged for H & H Equestrian to bring Buddy along to meet the people living there. Residents love spending time with animals, but visits are usually from small petting farms or Pets as Therapy (PAT) Dogs. This visit would provide a different type of animal interaction and make for a memorable day.
When Buddy arrived with his handler Fran, everyone commented on how beautiful he was. He was led around the home to meet people sitting in communal areas, and people spending time in their bedrooms.
The response from the residents was wonderful and seeing a small pony walking around their home was magical. There was a sea of smiling faces as people took turns to say hello and stroke Buddy.
Throughout the visit there were some wonderful responses from residents. One resident said, “I cannot believe there was a pony actually here! I have always loved ponies.” She then asked Lauren and Fran, “Can we keep him”!
There were lots of cuddles with the pony throughout the day and everyone enjoyed learning all about their new four-legged friend.
H&H Equestrian is a family run business providing education and learning with horses and ponies for every occasion, offering an alternative learning provision, riding tuition, pamper sessions, pony visits, parties, after school clubs and much more.
Manager Lauren said, “Here at The Hollies, we are always looking at creative ways to offer residents a memorable experience. We would like to thank H & H Equestrian for bringing Buddy along and giving our residents such a marvellous afternoon. It really was heart-warming to see the smiles on residents’ faces as Buddy walked through the home.
“Being in the company of animals has been proven to have therapeutic benefits for older people, especially those living with dementia. It can reduce anxiety and decrease feelings of loneliness. One look at the residents’ faces when Buddy walked in you could see just how engaged they were.”
The HICA Group is a not-for-profit organisation, which operates a portfolio of 17 care homes across Hull and the East Riding. The company also runs two retirement villages and a homecare service which provides approximately 12,000 hours of support from four regional offices in the north of England.