Volunteers and their four-legged pooches will continue to provide comfort to Camden Hospital patients thanks to a grant from the state government.
The Camden Hospital Auxiliary group secured an $11,000 grant which will allow them to continue to fund the Paws Pet Therapy program at the hospital for years to come.
Part of the funding will also be spent on purchasing a low-lying bed.
President of the group Helen Evans said she was grateful to the government and Camden MP Chris Patterson for securing the money.
“It is wonderful that we can continue to keep the great pet therapy service going,” she said.
“We were overwhelmed to receive the unexpected grant.
“Many of the patients have dogs at home who they miss. It is lovely to see the therapy dogs get onto the beds so the patients can pat them.
“The hospital also needed a new low-lying bed because the other one we previously bought the hospital is used so often.
“The bed can be lowered to the floor at night so patients, who may be at risk of falling out of bed, don’t injure themselves.”
The pet therapy service visits the palliative care, rehabilitation and medical transit unit wards three days a week.
Sharon Stewart, owner of Paws Pet Therapy, said the funding showed the service was valued at Camden Hospital.
“We have always had a good supportive relationship with the hospital and the auxiliary group,” she said.
“This funding will now take the pressure off the auxiliary group, who raise money for the service each year.
“So many people will benefit from the state government’s generosity.”
Mrs Evans said the group were often not eligible for state government funding and had to fundraise in the community.
“We hold stalls at Narellan Town Centre, we hold raffles, hold a craft day each month and have other annual stalls to raise money,” she said.
“We also have a gift shop in the hospital.”
The group has about 30 members and meets once a month to discuss raising funds for the hospital’s ‘wishlist’ equipment.
Details: Camden Hospital Auxiliary on Facebook