When news happens text pix and video to 80360. Start your message with BE then leave a space.
Jack the shizhu giving students a helping paw at Bournemouth University
STUDENTS in need of extra learning support are receiving a helping paw from one of Bournemouth University’s newest recruits.
At just three-years-old he is a little younger than most of his colleagues.
But Jack the shizhu is proving he is worth his weight in gold at the uni’s Additional Learning Support Unit.
He is owned by tutor Carolyn Atherton who said his calming presence was helping the 14 per cent of students and staff who had extra needs such as physical or sensory impairment or medical or mental health conditions.
Carolyn has embarked on a pilot project, thought to be the first of its kind in the country, in conjunction with Caring Canines, a locally-based, non-profit, voluntary group.
The organisation works with thousands of people in Bournemouth and the surrounding area and dogs visit schools, hospitals, day centres and care homes.
She said Jack’s presence allowed students to relax and helped them to remain on their courses and complete their studies without difficulty.
“We have students who come to the unit just to see Jack – they see him as a friend,” said Carolyn. “We are now planning to do some research into the effect he is having.
“It could lead to therapy dogs being used in other universities.”
One student, who did not wish to be named, said: “Jack has helped me calm down as I suffer from anxiety and mood issues.
“I often needed Jack’s calm and friendly support and understanding nature.
“His overriding message to everyone for every situation is to avoid being crippled by stress. Just keep calm but aware.
“He communicated through his body language. Jack is the best part of learning at university – he just seems to understand.”
Jack worked with Caring Canines in a Bournemouth primary school before taking up his new role at the university’s Talbot campus.
Comments are closed on this article.