How are Utility Aid supporting well-being in the workplace?

4 September 2018

“Dogs make us smile and it’s great to see organisations, like yourselves, prioritising and investing in employees’ mental health. I’m grateful to see the difference the dogs made to people’s well- being”.

James Macdonald, Canine Concern Scotland Trust.
Utility Aid collaborated with the Canine Concern Scotland Trust to host a well-being evening with specially approved therapy dogs (Therapets) at their Clockwise Offices, Glasgow.

Research shows that spending time with animals, such as dogs, boost endorphins, helps relieve stress and even lowers blood pressure; Utility 
Aid wanted to offer this supportive, therapeutic evening to their office community. 

On the evening of the 29th August, James Macdonald (a trust representative) brought along a variety of dog breeds: a German Shepard, a basenji, and a yorkie/maltese cross for office workers to play with, pet and stroke.  

Christine Devlin, an energy consultant and charity champion, organised the evening for residents of Clockwise Office, as a way to counter work related stress which impacts 1 in 5 of UK workers every year. 

Louise Duffy, Utility Aid Manager, commented: “The charity do great work, helping a wide range of organisations and the dogs do an amazing job. A special thanks to Honey, Troy and Scooter without whom we would have had no event! Even if I was suffering with an allergic reaction, it was all worth it to get a chance to interact with the lovely animals and their owners”.

Christine Devlin, Glasgow’s charity champion, shares her reflections from the evening:

It is now a week after our great evening with the volunteers and “Therapets” from the Canine Concern Trust. This is a truly unique charity who provide a vital, novel (and very cute) solution to stress. I read recently, work related stress impacts one in five (21%) of UK workers – at that rate, every office in the UK should have their very own designated Therapet.

The dogs created a serene, uplifting environment and they thoroughly enjoyed everyone’s attention. Their positive influence on people’s emotions explains why the charity offers this escapism to people in: hospitals, hospices, care homes, schools and universities. The volunteers and the dogs do remarkable work, which varies from helping: those at the end of their lives in hospices to those beginning their lives at school. Everyone feels pressure at some point and the volunteers and Therapets put everyone at ease (well, people that like dogs). But, what’s brilliant about this charity is their fundamental, yet simple, drive to make more people smile.

The evening grew into a great success and it was nice to share it with other businesses in our building’s community. Hopefully, they’re feeling the benefits from the Therapet session and will sing the praises of the Canine Concern Trust.

It’s so important to support smaller, independent charities; they provide a great service for those in need, enable greater mental health and wellbeing, in a non-discriminatory and relaxed environment.

As well as interacting with our furry visitors, I particularly enjoyed getting to know the volunteers. It was good to understand their motivations for giving over their time and interesting to listening to their amazing stories of making so many individuals’ days. They are truly spirited and passionate about their work.

Finally, I feel lucky to be part of a working environment which recognises and supports staff well-being. And, I firmly believe that all places of work should run little workshops like this to protect the mental health of their staff.

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