When it comes to supporting patients with cancer and other life-limiting conditions, an alpaca probably isn’t the first thing you’d think of. However patients at St Ann’s Hospice in Greater Manchester were treated to a very special visit from alpacas Raphael and Wolfie, who joined them in the hospice gardens.
Eamonn O’Neal, Chief Executive of St Ann’s, explained: “Personalised, holistic care is so important to everyone at the hospice, and this kind of therapy is just one of the ways we try to improve the wellbeing of our patients.
“It was wonderful for everyone to meet Raphael and Wolfie and see how much our patients enjoyed spending time with them. It’s days like this that really do create wonderful memories for everyone involved, and we’d like to thank Cheshire Alpacas for making the visit possible.
“Hospices support people right through their illness, from the point of diagnosis, through treatment and beyond, and we’re proud to always go the extra mile to ensure that the people that come to be cared for at St Ann’s have the very best quality of life possible. It was fantastic to see everyone smiling as they met the two alpacas, and to see the real impact their visit had on their day. Thanks again to everyone involved.”
During the visit, Raphael and Wolfie met patients, staff and volunteers in the hospice’s courtyard, and went to bedroom windows so that people on the wards who were unable to leave their beds could also see them.
Patient Lynn Spencer, who was celebrating her 70th birthday, said: “I love animals so I really enjoyed meeting the alpacas. They were really friendly and calm. This week I turn 70 years old so it was a fabulous way to celebrate and the staff at St Ann’s also made me a birthday cake.”
Sophie Mair from Cheshire Alpacas, said: “Alpacas are such gentle-natured, beautiful, friendly and sociable animals. You just cannot help but smile when you’re around them, which is why we love bringing them to places like St Ann’s Hospice. We love seeing everybody’s happy smiley faces when they’re in the company of our alpacas. It makes what we do very rewarding. Thank you for having us St Ann’s Hospice!️”
For more information visit St Ann’s Hospice