A CARE home worker from Stratford has hiked 32 miles in aid of a pet therapy charity.
Phil Vickers, an activities co-ordinator at Alveston Leys Bupa care home, took on the hike as part of the Yorkshire Ultra Challenge, banking £500 for Pets as Therapy – a national charity that aims to enhance people’s wellbeing through pet visits.
Phil, who has worked at Bupa for 12 years, decided to take on the challenge after Alveston Leys was visited by the pets charity and he saw how much the residents relished the opportunity to play, cuddle and stroke Bailey – a young Jack Russell cross.
Patricia Warr, an 82-year-old resident, said: “I absolutely loved the visit from Bailey. The feeling you get from spending time with pets is so special – they demand so little but give so much”.
While Phil said: “We were thrilled with the visit from Pets as Therapy as the residents had such a fantastic time. Animal therapy is a brilliant way to boost the mental wellbeing of our residents, and create a calm and happy atmosphere.
“After the success of the Pets as Therapy visit, I thought, why not do a fundraiser on their behalf and raise awareness about this wonderful charity.
“It’s safe to say after the hike I was just a tad tired, but I was also so excited to tell the residents all about it as I knew they’d be excited to hear all the details”.
Phil’s fundraising effort has seen him raise £250 for Pets as Therapy to date, an amount which was matched by the Bupa Foundation, raising the total donation to £500.
And Sian Howse, Alveston Leys Manager, added: “We are so proud of Phil for going above and beyond to raise money for a charity that means so much to all the residents and staff at Alveston Leys. It’s also brilliant that Bupa is matching the funds raised too, as it enables more individuals to have access to fantastic pet therapy”.