Seevic Students inspire feelings of comfort with pet therapy

Friday, 22 January 2016

Seevic College Animal Care students paid clients and staff at The Silver Birch Centre and The Rainbow Centre a visit with their favourite animals. Across two days both Level 1 and 2 BTEC students got to visit the centre along with their furry friends.

160122-carers -choiceThe students took a number of animals with them including a hedgehog, guinea pigs, rats and skinny pig. Pet therapy is proven to have a calming effect which inspires feeling of comfort through sensory experiences.

Angela Allum, Manager of the Centre and Fundraising Manager for Carer’s Choice said: “The clients all live with Dementia in their sometimes confusing and emotional lives the small act of cuddling and stroking an animal brings about a warm feeling of peace and pleasure to them.”

The Silver Birch Centre is part of Carer’s Choice in Kiln Road, Benfleet. They offer specialist day care for people with dementia providing them with a full activity programme throughout the day.

The Rainbow Centre is a day care centre supporting adults with disabilities. Giving them a place to connect with new people and take part in a wide range of activities.

BTEC Level 2 Animal Care student Saffron Carson, 17, said “It was a fun yet relaxing experience, it was nice to be able to share our knowledge of the animals with other people”

Angela added “The clients of the Silver Birch Centre were so happy to see and stroke the array of small animals brought to them by the students. The uplift mood in which they felt will stay with them.”

160122-carers -choice -2Lorna Bartlett, Animal Care and Management Tutor at Seevic, said “The visit is to help build relationships within our local community whilst allowing enrichment for not only the students and animals but the lives of the adults in the day care setting.”

Throughout the days students circulated around the room with the animals allowing everyone the opportunity to hold and touch the animals. This gave students the both experience in handling the animals as well as developing people skills.

Angela finished by saying “These regular events with the two different groups and the animals is so beneficial to everyone, it really is a win win situation.”

The Silver Birch and Rainbow Centre offer unique experience’s for all those living with dementia and any disabilities. To find our more or book at taster session please visit

Animal Care students regularly get the chance to interact with a variety of animals throughout their course. If you are interested visit or come along to the next Open Evening on Tuesday 2 February, 5:30pm – 8pm.



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