Join our team
Do you have the passion and determination to make a difference in the lives of people with complex needs?
Tim moved into Highbury Gardens last year and, with the support of his team, is doing really well. However, there’s one very special member of Tim’s support team who has an extremely calming and therapeutic effect on him. We caught up with Tim’s Dad, Mark, to find out more.
Mark explains, “Alfie is an Australian Labradoodle and has an amazing calm temperament and personality. He is our family’s dog and he has the ability to sense when our autistic son Tim is upset and will comfort him for hours – their bond is amazing.”
As well as offering great support for Tim, Alfie has been a therapy dog, visiting schools and hospitals, for 5 years.
“We thought a therapy dog would be beneficial as one of our early memories of Tim is taking him for a walk in a park and him seeing a dog. He just couldn’t stop laughing and smiling. Last year, Tim started living at Highbury Gardens, a fantastic small community home run by Precious Homes, devoted to young autistic adults similar to our son. Alfie is encouraged to visit informally when we collect Tim or drop him off, and has formed a bond with staff and residents.” Mark explains.
As part of his role, Alfie helps to calm people by offering his paw and wanting to be stroked. When he visited a school for children with moderate learning difficulties, he took part in Pets As Therapy’s Read2Dogs programme – a non-judgemental way of helping children to read out loud. He also regularly visits children who live in a Women’s Refuge and has visits planned to a hospital and to a university to help students prepare for their exams within the next month.
Mark concludes “Alfie really enjoys his job and when allowed to return to ‘work’ after the pandemic shut everything down, was delighted to be able to help others again,”