MHA forges link with Maud charity

Bob McNeill gets friendly with an owl at the Maud centre.
Bob McNeill gets friendly with an owl at the Maud centre.

Mental Health Aberdeen (MHA) has forged a link with an innovative charity which offers a therapeutic animal service.

The leading north-east charity recently visited The Owl and The Pussycat Centre in Maud, which gives people the chance to have a positive experience with birds of prey, including the owl stars of Harry Potter, Eral and Hedwig.

Service users in MHA’s Companions Befriending Service and their companions had a magical time on the visit, which was used as an opportunity to get out and about in the community, have fun and build relationships with peers.

Flora Todd, manager of MHA Companions Befriending, is currently looking for volunteers to take on a befriending role within the charity.

She said: “Our service users and their companions thoroughly enjoyed themselves at The Owl and The Pussycat Centre, and we would like to thank everyone there for making us so welcome.

“We would love to repeat visits like this as they are so beneficial in helping our service users combat feelings of isolation and embrace day to day life. Interaction with animals and birds is a great tool for improving a person’s wellbeing.

“We are currently on the look-out for volunteers to join our pool of befrienders in Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Banff, Turriff and surrounding rural areas. It is a fantastically rewarding role to take on and while it has its challenges, the transformation it can bring about to someone’s life is incredible.

Full training is provided to all volunteers, who must be aged 18 and over, and the charity has an experienced team leading the programme.

All out of pocket expenses are reimbursed and the next induction training course will begin in February.

For more information on the befriending scheme and volunteering opportunities contact Flora on 01779 470122 or visit www.mha.uk.net.