“The ponies bring joy and excitement to everyone they meet”

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Thanks to income raised from the lottery, East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity funds therapy ponies to visit Lister Hospital every three weeks. The Shetland and mini-Shetland ponies visit various wards so that as many patients, visitors and staff can enjoy them.

The ponies bring joy and excitement to everyone they meet. They increase morale, stimulate conversation, and put smiles on everyone’s face. The positive impact of animal visits to hospitals has been well documented. They help lower stress and anxiety levels in patients and give a boost to staff. They also increase the levels of feel-good hormones, such as oxytocin. Animal therapy is a drug-free way of helping patients feel more relaxed and less stressed in the hospital environment.

The ponies are always given a health check and thoroughly washed and groomed before they are brought to the hospital. They wear a nappy sack which contains activated charcoal so there is no smell in case of any ‘accidents’, but the ponies generally prefer to wait until they are outside anyway to go.

The therapy ponies give patients a positive experience, enhancing the high standard of care the hospital aims to deliver.

Money raised from The Hospice Lottery helps East & North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity fund services like the therapy ponies.

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