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Harvey the Bunny hops into Hawthorn Green care home to help elderly with dementia

PUBLISHED: 17:30 19 February 2015 | UPDATED: 17:30 19 February 2015

Farm volunteer introduces Harvey the Rabbit to resident at Hawthorn Green care home

Farm volunteer introduces Harvey the Rabbit to resident at Hawthorn Green care home

Sanctuary Care homes

Sessions with fury creatures have been introduced at a care home in London’s East End to help elderly residents with dementia.

Tom Diss, 92, meets Harvey the Bunny at his Stepney Green care homeTom Diss, 92, meets Harvey the Bunny at his Stepney Green care home

Animals of all shapes and sizes were brought into Hawthorn Green care home in Redmans Road, Stepney Green, by volunteers from a nearby city farm.

The stars of the show were a honey-coloured bunny called Harvey, a proud hen called Mabel and three cheeky guinea pigs called Baked Bean, PJ and Victor.

“I loved cuddling the rabbit and felt very content,” 92-year-old resident Tom Diss said. “I would love Harvey to come again.”

Ron Ballard, 82, chipped in: “It was like the outdoors brought to us—I felt right at home.”

The residents got the chance to fuss over the animals, thanks to the session arranged with Stepney city farm just down the road.

The home’s activities leader Joan Coker said: “Our residents all love animals—every single face lit up when the furry creatures turned up.”

The animals were brought in to the Sanctuary Group care home by volunteers from Furry Tales, a not-for-profit animal-assisted programme based at the city farm in Stepney Way. The programme has been set up to help older people with dementia stimulate conversations and memories, using the warmth and physical contact of the friendly creatures.


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