Animal assisted therapy

 Animal assisted therapy bannerStudies reveal that interactions with animals increase endorphins, promoting relaxation, reducing pain and creating relief and joy.


Camp Simcha’s Animal Assisted Therapy service, which launched early in 2016 helps many of our children each week.

Utilising a variety of animals including horses and small pets, we have also recruited dogs and owners who have been specially trained to visit families supported by Camp Simcha. The feedback has been fantastic.

Camp Simcha Family Liaison Officer Mandy Isaacs, who is co-ordinating the new service says: ‘It’s not only the ill person who reaps the benefits. Family members and friends who sit in on animal visits say they feel better too. Animals also can be taught to reinforce rehabilitative behaviours in patients, such as throwing a ball or walking.’ Families who feel they could benefit from this will have weekly visits from the dogs and their owners.

White Bichon Frise Molly has now become a weekly visitor to eight-year-old Nix, who has Dystonic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy with blindness and regular seizures as well as other complications. Nix’s sister Adi also has a less severe form of Spastic Dystonic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy.

‘The girls love Molly. She is very sweet and Adi likes to get her to do tricks. Nix cannot see but she likes the feel of Molly, even though she is not usually tactile. The visits are lovely because they are just gentle fun. Both girls get very tired and Nix has lots of seizures after school so we cannot really go out and do activities. Having Molly come to us is lovely and not too much for the girls.’ says Mum Karen

Would you like your dog to be a Camp Simcha Paws for Fun dog?
We are always looking out for more dogs to be part of our Paws for Fun programme. In order to be considered, your dog will need to have the following:

– up to date flea control sheet from your vet
– up to date vaccination sheet from your vet
– up to date public liability insurance
– up to date DBS Form (done online)

If your dog has all of these, please contact who will give you more information and put you in touch with one of our trainers. The trainer will then meet you and your dog and decide if your dog is appropriate for our services.


Paws for Fun is our 22nd service with our first ever four-legged volunteers!