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Furry Friend, Big Impact – Finn, the Therapy Dog, nurturing emotional wellbeing at WUS
April 24, 2024

Amidst the bustle of school life, there’s a furry friend making a big impact. Finn, the Australian Labradoodle therapy dog, whose gentle presence is transforming emotional well-being within the school as an integral part of our wellbeing programme.

Every Tuesday, Finn joins Mrs. Adams, our School Counsellor, offering reassurance and a listening ear to pupils. Finn is a certified Pets as Therapy (PAT) dog, specially trained to provide comforting support for pupils with any worries and concerns they may be facing.

While Finn may not be new to WUS, his role in our wellbeing programme showcases a commitment to nurturing the emotional health of our pupils. Research has highlighted the profound benefits of therapy dogs in school settings, and Finn is a cherished asset within our holistic approach to student support.

From the therapy room to individual sessions and even drop-in sessions, Finn’s presence has become an integral part of the school’s support system. Mrs. Adams explains, “This is a gentle introduction for students to talk about their emotions. Walking and talking side by side with the distraction and shared responsibility of Finn means that the conversation just seems to flow and I can guide our talk towards feelings using Finn and his emotional and physical needs in a metaphorical way which may feel less intrusive to a young person and allow them to begin to open up.”

Even when boys have no concerns, they eagerly take Finn for a stroll around Vincent Square. Samarth, a Year 3 pupil, shares, “It made me feel calm, happy, and free to speak.”

In a school where emotional wellbeing is paramount, Finn stands as a shining example of the power of companionship and empathy within our comprehensive wellbeing programme. His calming influence and unwavering support remind us of the importance of creating a nurturing environment where pupils feel heard, understood, and valued.

Finn’s impact extends beyond the therapy room; he’s a symbol of the caring community we strive to foster at WUS, as we continue on our wellbeing journey to support the holistic development of every pupil.

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