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Retirement for Lily

Posted by Devon Partnership Trust in News, Recovery and wellbeing on 24th August, 2022

Lily the dogAfter a fantastic six years of continuous contribution, Nikki Pelmear and Lily are stepping down from DPT as volunteers.

Pets As Therapy Volunteers are dedicated pet owners who give up their spare time to help others. Volunteers and their pets bring comfort and companionship to those in the healthcare setting. Hospital visits can aid a patient’s recovery and rehabilitation and help improve mental health and wellbeing. We know that every Pets as Therapy volunteer are well thought of and visits are very welcome.

Nikki Pelmear said: “We have been volunteering for DPT at The Cedars, PICU and Langdon for the last six years and Lily has always had a knack of knowing that someone needs a bit of support which made her perfect for her work. She always got people talking purely because of what she is and even staff got therapy from her! Lily is now 12 years old and whilst she is in relatively good health for the type of dog she is (Basset cross Great Dane), I feel now is the right time to let her put her paws up.”

We currently have around 40 DPT volunteers across Devon and those who join us do so for a variety of reasons, some are at college or university and wish to use the experience to gain a further insight to support their careers in mental health, some are retired but not quite ready to put their feet up! Some are looking for work or want to get back to it after a break and we have those who have lived experience who can offer such a valuable insight.

Our current volunteering roles are varied, interesting and rewarding. Volunteers help with a wide range of tasks including:

  • Ward buddies – befriending, talking and listening to patients
  • Recreational activities with patients such as arts, crafts, reading and playing games
  • Horticultural support
  • Pets as Therapy
  • Peer Group buddy
  • Pastoral and spiritual care
  • Administration
  • Carer engagement
  • Charity fundraising events and campaigns
  • Café assistants

We will soon be placing volunteer adverts on NHS jobs for Activity and Library assistants with Devon Recovery Learning Community, if these roles are of interest, please do make contact for further information.

If you would like to find out more about volunteering, please contact Pauline Champion, Early Career and Volunteer Co-coordinator, at