Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick promotes pony therapy at Aylesford hospice
Tuesday 13th August 2019
SUPERVET Noel Fitzpatrick’s afternoon at the Heart of Kent Hospice will feature on our TV screens tomorrow night.
Professor Fitzpatrick (pictured) took along pint-sized therapy ponies Dame Maggie and Princess Rose to spend quality time with patients at the unit in Aylesford.
He was being filmed for the week-long ‘Animal Rescue Live Supervet Special’, which goes out on Channel 4 at 8pm tomorrow (Wednesday, August 14).
Former Blue Cross ponies Maggie and Rose belong to Alex Taskin, from Kits Coty, near Aylesford, and are regular visitors to the hospice. The therapy ponies spend time with patients, their carers and families at the hospice, visiting patients in their beds and attending daily activity sessions.
Professor Noel Fitzpatrick learned about their unique role and the services the hospice provides.
Kerry Harrison, Heart of Kent Hospice’s patient services director, said: “Everyone was very excited about the filming. Noel was extremely interested in the work of the hospice and how the ponies are one of the ways we provide therapeutic and sensory benefits to patients and families living and coming to terms with a diagnosis of a terminal illness.
“He went out of his way to spend quality time with everyone and his visit will be a lasting memory for many.”
Alex Taskin adopted Shetland ponies Maggie and daughter Rose three years ago. She said: “We soon found that these two have a very special talent, we realised they were so empathetic, so we started introducing them to therapeutic work with some autistic clients, as well as students from the London Pupil Referral Unit, who are unable to attend mainstream school. This was just a small step to start taking them into a hospice – which is where the magic really happens. The happiness and solace they bring to everyone in this environment is so special.”
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