Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Got a Question? Try Here!

If you are not sure about anything then please ask! We are happy to cover the multitude of questions and queries that arise when you are having to organise an assisted therapy or activities day for yourself or your organisation. If you still have no luck in getting your questions answered in this section then please contact us using the methods below:

Either Give Us A Call on 0845 604 4921 from a landline or 0208 850 6778 from a mobile or email therapy@animalsfortherapy.org.uk

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Q. Can I ring you at anytime?

A. Our office hours are Monday through to Friday 9.30am to 6pm. If you need to contact us over a weekend, either leave a message on our answerphone or email us at therapy@animalsfortherapy.org.uk. We will get back to you as soon as possible. We are closed on public holidays.

Q. If I ring your 0845 number, is that going to cost me a fortune in call charges?

A. Our 0845 number is a national number where the cost is shared between you and Animal Days Out. Our 0845 number is a BT number where the call costs you 3.9p per minute and Animal Days Out 3.45p per minute, roughly 50-50. You may even have a calling plan where by the call is free of charge, especially at weekends. So, we don't make any money out of your call, infact we help share the cost of the call. Please note some of the more unscrupulous mobile providers may charge more for an 0845 call. Our landline number is 020 8850 6778 if you are ringing from a mobile. If you are worried about call charges simply send us an email message requesting a call back.

Q. What if I have booked a session and need to contact you out of hours in an emergency?

A. We provide an out of hours mobile number to all customers who may require to call or text in an emergency. Alternatively you can leave a message on our main number, which is checked out of hours on a regular basis. Of course, sending an email will usually get a pretty quick response as well, as each member of staff has a blackberry mobile device.

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Q. What does an Animal Assisted Activity (AAA) session involve?
A. AAA sessions involve the use of specifically chosen animals in a range of activities or interactions with people. With our mobile program, we bring selected animals to your group for therapeutic activities. This can involve observing, handling, stroking, and grooming of our animals. AAA programmes with more than one session can be used to assist with maintaining mobility and improving co-ordination. We have adapted lap-trays for assisted handling and grooming brushes for small animals. Additionally the sessions may be focussed on other nature, horticultural or outdoor activities. These may be simple gardening sessions to other larger activities and projects that help promote well-being and engagement. 

Q. Does there need to be a minimum number of people to book an AAA session?
A. No, we can offer AAA sessions for individuals or small groups either by referral from a GP or anyone with their own budget. We offer a mobile program where we can come to your home or relevant centre with suitable animals to allow the child, young person or adult to positively benefit from time with our animals or with outdoor activities. Depending on the individuals specific needs, age and interest we work with you to identify what will be the most suitable animal or activity for the session. We can offer a programme for a set number of assisted activity sessions or arrange a one off visit.

Q. What people and groups can benefit from an AAA session?

A. AAA is suitable for people and groups from all walks of life. Animals are non-judgemental. They are an excellent aid to communication and encourage conversation, however they are also useful in assisting with non-verbal communication and have produced good results when working with people with dementia, autistic spectrum disorders and attention deficit disorder.

We visit the community and organisations with special needs provision, including residential nursing homes, day centre’s, childrens centre’s, nurseries, hospitals, holiday play schemes for groups with physical and learning disabilities and individuals at home with various needs.

Q. How many people can benefit from a group AAA recreational session?
A. We can cater the session according to the numbers in the group. Ideal group numbers to work with are up to 10 in order that the participants are not left waiting. We frequently work with groups up to 20 however this means we need to move the animals around the group so the participants have less individual time. We can split sessions into working with smaller groups. Please just give us a call to discuss what would work best for your group.

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Q. What animals will you bring to an AAA session?
A. We have a wide range of domestic and exotic animals including invertebrates (mini-beasts), reptiles, small and large mammals which work with us in our AAA sessions. Depending on the groups specific needs, age and interest we work with you to identify what will be the most suitable animals for the activity. All our animals used within AAA are highly socialised and are used to touching and handling.

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Q. Can you provide any supporting activities for sessions?
A. Yes, we offer nature and horticultural based activities and depending on the needs of the group can organise nature and animal activities which can be led by us as a separate activity session or basic paper activities that can be done in parallel with an AAA session and these can be parent - carer or staff led. For example we offer a minibeast session which includes a picture hunt, group discussion and a meet and greet session with live minibeasts (domestic and exotic species). We also offer supporting horticultural therapies including potting a plant or seeds to take home. If you have use of a suitable outdoor space, we can look to utilise the space for these activities (weather dependent).

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Q. Does the AAA session need to be indoors?
A. No, in warmer months we welcome the opportunity to offer AAA sessions in suitable and safe spaces outdoors as being outside in nature complements the therapeutic activities. We can bring a marquee or gazebo with tables for outdoor sessions. We also have some small children’s chairs to support handling.
Q. Can we visit you for an AAA session?
A. You can visit us at the Environment Centre, a 9 acre wildlife reserve, based in Eltham, London SE9 and additionally the Temple Hill Trust - Enchanted Woodland which is a 4 acre woodland in Dartford, Kent. We also have a Community Garden in Keats Road, Welling and a coomunity garden at Hurst Community Centre - Bexley. We can therefore offer AAA and AAT in these locations with both indoor and outdoor options. Dates and times will need to be discussed and pre-booked. For residential opportunities or other sites, we partner with Wide Horizons Trust, also based at the Environment Centre, who have a number of locations in England and Wales available for hire.

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Q. Why Choose Animals For Therapy?

A. Its a good question! As a company we are a small social enterprise with big ideas. In early 2013, we felt that this specialist sector of our business deserved its own dedicated team of professionals and operational focus and Animals For Therapy was created as a separate brand with a remit to further develop therapeutic services to a greater audience including both parents, professionals, groups and individuals. In addition our range of therapeutic services has increased incorporating a large range of animal, wildlife, nature and horticultural activities that we can deliver. As our background is in large London based organisations, we know what it takes to provide a professional service ensuring that our training, staff and policy and procedures are up to the task. Find out more HERE>.

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