Farmyard animals visited veterans at military care home

Residents at The Royal Star & Garter Home in Surbiton have been visited by an array of farmyard animals.

On the 26 July, around 25 pigs, goats, donkeys, geese, ducks and chicks were special guests at the Home, which cares for ex-Servicemen, women and their partners living with disability or dementia.

They came from Miller’s Ark Animals, and spent two hours at the Home. Residents held and stroked the animals while chatting to staff from the farm.

Research shows stroking animals can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and increase social interaction and physical activity. It has also been shown to help battle depression and loneliness.

The visit was arranged by Raquel Pena Aristizabal, the Activities & Volunteer Manager at the Upper Brighton Road Home, and was one of the 50 activities arranged for residents each week. She said: “Animals have a special effect on residents. In the past we’ve even had a miniature donkey in the home! Pets As Therapy dogs often visit too, and we all loved having the adorable farmyard animals with us on the day. The residents absolutely loved it.