Lee and her PAT dog Mac, sitting outside on the grass

Lee and Mac’s volunteer story

Published on: 03/06/24



Lee volunteers at The Children’s Trust along with her Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog, Mac. Here, she shares her story…

Our journey into volunteering began when, as a family, we visited Mac as a two-week-old puppy. His breeder had mentioned that his granny was a therapy dog in Scotland. This planted a seed with me because we had a therapy dog who visited our school when I was a Deputy Head Teacher in London.

A few years later, when I felt Mac and I were ready to be assessed, we became PAT volunteers. Sadly Covid halted everything for us, and he worked alongside me in my childminding setting as my little furry assistant. One day my neighbour Colette, who had previously visited The Children’s Trust with her rescue dog Cal, suggested in that I should look into offering visits. The rest, as they say, is history…

Volunteering at The Children’s Trust

Mac and I visit the children and staff on a regular basis to offer therapy and nurture sessions. During our sessions we meet the children, families and carers, and support them with anything they might need – be it some cuddles from Mac, words of encouragement from me or even just Mac’s presence in the room.

Mac is just the very best dog to share his calm, love, and warmth, not only with the children who are at The Children’s Trust for their rehabilitation, care and education, but also their families and the staff. I love to observe the amazing connection he makes with them!

“It’s wonderful to be part of something that is truly greater than any of us.”

The children receiving support from The Children’s Trust are incredibly resilient. Some of the friends we meet have had the most difficult challenges to face and a lot of them do it with a smile on their faces or a sparkle in their eye.

I wish there were unlimited hours available in my week to allow more visits to The Children’s Trust. I love to see how the children progress, and Mac enjoys the best strokes and cuddles from all his new friends.

Pets As Therapy dog Mac being stroked by a child in a wheelchair

Get involved

The Children’s Trust is such a special place to be in many ways. The staff who work to support the children are always so appreciative of any help, this could be in the form of becoming a driver, restocking shelves or even being a warden at one of their fundraisers - whatever your skill set is, The Children’s Trust could make use of you. You’ll meet such special people who all have the biggest hearts!