Flossie, Stoosh and Kathryn — bringing animal assisted therapy to the Midlands

HumAnima

We don’t often get news of social enterprises in Wolverhampton so I thought I would post this interesting story.

What do Flossie, Stoosh and Kathryn Kimbley all have in common?

Kathryn’s Canine Co-therapist — Flossie, an English Cocker Spaniel who works with her in counselling and attends workshops

Well, Flossie is a gorgeous Cocker Spaniel, Stoosh is a skunk, and Kathryn is the director of Wolverhampton-based social enterprise HumAnima CIC — a community interest company that provides ‘animal assisted therapy’ (AAT) to support counselling and mental health clients.

AAT includes such activities as Riding for the Disabled and Dolphin Assisted Therapy. The aim is to provide an opportunity for people to benefit from interaction with animals. A constantly growing body of research supports the benefits of AAT.

HumAnima runs Animal Assisted Therapy in Counselling, the only course of its kind in the UK and Europe. The next course — expanded from an initial one-day programme to three — starts on Saturday 27th April and will teach participants to incorporate safe, beneficial and structured interactions with animals for the benefit of counselling and mental health clients.

Day 1 of the course is being run in collaboration with Critterish Allsorts, another West Midlands based company that works with more unusual therapy animals, including a Therapy Skunk called Skoosh.

The course was run twice successfully last year.

HumAnima CIC won Social Enterprise West Midlands’ Prima Award for Innovation in November 2012, the award sponsored by PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Kathryn has recently become a Prince’s Trust Young Ambassador having worked with the Prince’s Trust since HumAnima CIC was set up thanks to a loan from them. She has just been invited to deliver the course for a Care Farm in Dorset and as well as training all the staff HumAnima will also be involved in a bigger AAT project that the farm has just confirmed it has won funding for.

HumAnima is also working hard to be able to offer free counselling in the deprived areas of Wolverhampton through collaboration with the Local Authority.

→ Visit HumAnima CIC to find out more about Kathryn’s work.

→ Send mail.

→ HumAnima’s Facebook page.

→ Flossie’s Facebook page (no, I don’t know how she manages with typing either).

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Birmingham UK. Freelance research, evaluation and policy consultant specialising in social enterprise and the third sector. I maintain the BSSEC blog and website

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