aged residents of a care home and some younger guests got to meet and pet two penguins who took the visit in their stride. Humbodlt penguins Pringle and Charlie shambled around Trevone House in Gloucester as part of a pet therapy project used to improve social, emotional and cognitive functioning of stroke patients. The home’s activities co-ordinator Rebecca Allott, 22, desired to do something different for the residents and arranged the unique visit on Friday.She said: ‘We are resident led in what we do here and they said that this is something they would like to do and see.’So we approached the Amazing Animals Company and they gave us a great deal. ‘We do many things with the residents, but this is so exciting and I am so pleased with how much everyone is enjoying it.’
The penguins, who hail from Patagonia, on the southern tip of South America, were generally well received by the residents as they clambered on chairs and walked confidently in the living room. Although some were nervous to stroke the flightless birds. Resident Mrs Georgina Dowling, 88 said: ‘I think the penguins’ coming here today is wonderful. I have really enjoyed it. ‘I really enjoy the variety of activities that we have here. I remember the first time I saw penguins at Chester Zoo, but wasn’t this close to them.’
County sales support coordinator Jane Lunn said: ‘The ideas of what care homes used to be are changing. It is more pleasant and homely and even the residents help in deciding the colour schemes when we decorate.’The care is person-centred and they do many different things here and it is what they would like to do and new experiences that they may wish to have.’When we do things like this it can trigger a memory and to talk about these past experiences as well. It is a good way of getting residents to talk about memories that may have been forgotten.’Residents and family members, as well as some local children, went to see the penguins. Charlie the penguin is 16-years-old and raised Pringle who is five. The pair were also used in making a programme about Chester Zoo for the BBC, along with other television shows.Amazing Animals are a professional trainer, carer and supplier of a wide range of animals for the media industry and charitable events.