Bakewell hospital’s ‘thank ewe’ to Peak farmers

Staff nurses Lynne Nicholson and Amanda Mycock with one of the cuddly visitors.
Staff nurses Lynne Nicholson and Amanda Mycock with one of the cuddly visitors.
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Spring lambs from a Buxton farm have been providing a therapeutic benefit for elderly hospital patients.

Thanks to Chelmorton farmers David and Joanne Bagshaw, the cuddly springtime visitors have been wowing patients and healthcare staff at Newholme Hospital in Bakewell.

For the past eight years their lambs have been visiting Newholme and providing animal-assisted therapy to patients across the hospital.

Involving the use of animals as a form of treatment, the therapy can range from animal interaction to the use of pets within a therapeutic environment.

This year they have visited Rowsley Ward, Stanton Day Hospital and are regular visitors to Riverside Ward, an older people’s mental health assessment ward.

Lorraine Turner, occupational therapist on the Riverside Ward, said: “We want to say a big thank you to David and Joanne.

“For patients experiencing dementia the visits are very therapeutic and open up meaningful interaction by holding and talking to the lambs.

“We have witnessed some very moving and meaningful connections which the occupational therapy team have captured by providing families with memorable photographs.

“The visiting lambs provide a host of therapeutic benefits but it is the expression of such positive social behaviours that include the spontaneous smiles and laughter that are the most memorable.”