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How we work

Clients contact us directly or are referred to us by friends or family members or by other support or welfare organisations – human or animal. We work closely with the St Nicholas Hospice Neighbour Scheme and other befriending and community groups.

Once we are briefed about an individual who may need our help, we undertake an assessment, initially by telephone or email, and follow up with a visit if possible.

Working in partnership

This process enables us to find out what is needed and we can then develop a support plan for the individual, working in partnership with other organisations or family members as appropriate:

  • Family, friends, neighbours
  • Social care: care providers, housing
  • Medical care: GP, hospice, district nurses
  • Advisors, e.g. solicitors
  • Helplines: CAB, AgeUK, The Silver Line
  • Mental health, dementia
  • Befriending schemes, volunteer networks, youth programmes
  • Veterinary care, allied professionals
  • Pets as Therapy, Assistance Animals, Cinnamon Trust
  • Behaviourists, trainers, clubs
  • Rehoming centres, animal charities, Kennel Club
  • HCAR research, SCAS, HABRI
Our Special Friends works in partnership with a range of organisations and family members

The support offered by Our Special Friends includes:

  • Emotional and practical support, delivered using local trained and supported members of the community and affiliate organisations
  • Identifying relevant resources and services and signposting them to potential clients, their families and carers
  • Offering advice on respite care, fostering, rehoming and pre-bereavement planning to help clients make informed and appropriate decisions
  • Researching and identifying appropriate companion animals, monitoring them and providing follow up support
  • Dog walking, either directly via our volunteers or via other affiliate organisations
  • Visiting individuals at home with a volunteer and their dog (this is known as Animal-Assisted Activity).
  • Offering accompanied walks via our volunteers either with an existing pet or a visiting pet
  • Looking for ways to reduce essential pet costs, such as veterinary fees
  • Encouraging the presence and maintenance of wild bird feeders with maximum visibility, easy viewing and regular stocking by volunteers or neighbours

If you think we could help you or someone you know, please contact us.


Birds on a feeder