Our Special Friends

Our Special Friends

At a glance

Causes

  • Animals / wildlife
  • Community safety / victim support / domestic violence
  • Health and well being / research and care
  • Local / community
  • Mental health
  • Older people / later life
  • Social care

Other details

Organisation type: 
Charity
Geographical remit: 
Local

Objectives

Scientific evidence demonstrates that a positive relationship between humans and animals can have a vast impact on a person’s mental, emotional and physical health.  Pet ownership is proven to be particularly beneficial for those experiencing social isolation and/or mental health issues.  Our Special Friends (OSF) is an innovative, grassroots charity supporting people who are experiencing difficulty and where ownership of a pet, or contact with an animal, is crucial to enable them to cope. 

Our Clients and Their Needs

Every day, OSF is approached by, or on behalf of, people facing all kinds of adversity who are desperate not to relinquish their beloved companion and vital source of comfort, stability and normality – or people who have lived with animals all of their lives but whose health or circumstances now make pet ownership impossible:

OSF is committed to breaking down any and all barriers which prevent people from benefitting from animal companionship.  Through our overt focus on animals, OSF is able to access hard-to-reach people normally averse to agencies becoming involved, particularly where they are socially isolated.  We are therefore able to identify unmet health and social care needs and make appropriate referrals earlier than many other services. 

Services and Impact

OSF has established the need for an Animal Companionship Practitioner and offers a variety of animal companionship support services, delivered predominantly by volunteers in the community, to meet the plethora of needs our clients have and completely transform difficult situations in their lives:

Our Special Friends’ Animal Companionship Support Services

Providing foster care for pets in times of crisis, such as admission to hospital or fleeing domestic abuse

Weekly visits from volunteers with their pet for lonely people unable to have a pet of their own

Dog walking or accompanied dog walking for people with limited mobility

Contributing towards the costs of veterinary and non-veterinary care when owners are in financial difficulty

Providing emotional support for those experiencing animal bereavement

Sensitively facilitating permanent rehoming of pets whose owners can no longer provide sufficient care

Sourcing new animal companions for lonely and isolated people

Arranging for volunteers to provide transport to vets’ appointments

Liaising with and cross-referring to other relevant health and social care services

 

Activities

 

Our Clients and Their Needs

Every day, OSF is approached by, or on behalf of, people facing all kinds of adversity who are desperate not to relinquish their beloved companion and vital source of comfort, stability and normality – or people who have lived with animals all of their lives but whose health or circumstances now make pet ownership impossible:

OSF is committed to breaking down any and all barriers which prevent people from benefitting from animal companionship.  Through our overt focus on animals, OSF is able to access hard-to-reach people normally averse to agencies becoming involved, particularly where they are socially isolated.  We are therefore able to identify unmet health and social care needs and make appropriate referrals earlier than many other services. 

Services and Impact

OSF has established the need for an Animal Companionship Practitioner and offers a variety of animal companionship support services, delivered predominantly by volunteers in the community, to meet the plethora of needs our clients have and completely transform difficult situations in their lives:

Our Special Friends’ Animal Companionship Support Services

Providing foster care for pets in times of crisis, such as admission to hospital or fleeing domestic abuse

Weekly visits from volunteers with their pet for lonely people unable to have a pet of their own

Dog walking or accompanied dog walking for people with limited mobility

Contributing towards the costs of veterinary and non-veterinary care when owners are in financial difficulty

Providing emotional support for those experiencing animal bereavement

Sensitively facilitating permanent rehoming of pets whose owners can no longer provide sufficient care

Sourcing new animal companions for lonely and isolated people

Arranging for volunteers to provide transport to vets’ appointments

Liaising with and cross-referring to other relevant health and social care services

 

No current opportunities

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