Macy, the 20-month-old Cocker Spaniel, has been made an honorary member of Callywith College’s Student Services team and is already proving popular with students and staff alike.
The college canine belongs to Student Services Coordinator Jamie Crowle and supports the students in their personal and social development. Macy spends her time at the Bodmin campus in the Student Services area alongside Jamie, and is always happy to lend a helping paw. Staff and students can drop in to see her at any time and she also visits groups and classes on request.
Jamie says Macy is helping to bring calm and joy to everyone she meets.
“The nature of my role means I often work with students when they are experiencing a lot of stress, anxiety and worry and I felt that Macy could provide some comfort to them during these difficult times,” he said.
“My plan was always for Macy to become a Therapy dog from when I first got her and it just happened that we were working towards taking the PAT assessment when I started working at Callywith. Being young is challenging at times and we are trying to recognise that in Student Services by providing a variety of support. Macy forms part of our holistic approach and will help bring a sense of calm and joy to everyone.”
The student’s reaction to this tail-wagging member of the team has been very positive. Macy made lots of new friends on her first day, with some students even bringing her treats and toys.
Kaija Homans, who is studying BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care, said: “She’s a lovely dog, so well behaved and she doesn’t jump up so it’s nice to not feel overwhelmed around her. Seeing Macy will help me a lot, especially with the stress from exams and coursework. I feel like I will be able to relax and be able to have my mind taken off of it. I’m looking forward to seeing her down there during the last few weeks of college and I’m sure we will see her after summer!”
Assistant Principal and lead on student experience, Lucy Maggs said: “Here at Callywith College we feel very lucky to welcome Macy as part of the team. Macy has already had a hugely positive impact upon staff and students here. She is fully trained as a PAT dog and her presence provides comfort, a sense of calm and brings a smile to everyone’s faces. She is supportive in helping our students to manage anxiety and stress as well as develop their empathy and emotional resilience.”
Macy is also part of the Read2Dogs scheme which helps to improve the literacy skills of young people by helping them feel less stressed and self-conscious when reading to others in a group.