‘Poppet’s super. When she comes everyone brightens up and she loves being fussed’
PATIENTS at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital are given a boost every week with the help of a visit from a four-legged furry friend.
Brock Ward receives a visit from local businessman Ashley Smith and his loyal companion Poppet every Thursday as part of the Wellbeing Animals Guernsey project, bringing joy to patients on the acute medical ward, who stroke friendly Poppet.
One patient spoke of how great it was to have her visit.
‘She’s super,’ he said. ‘When she comes everyone brightens up and she just loves being fussed, which is great for us because we love fussing over her.
‘I haven’t been here long, but the nurses always mention her so I was excited to see her and spend some time with her.’
Both Mr Smith and Poppet bring not only smiles to the faces of patients, but to the staff too.
Staff nurse on the ward, Sandra Thomson, said they had both made such a difference to patients’ lives.
‘They’ve been coming in for ages and have gotten to know us all,’ she said.
‘We all wanted them both to win the Pride of Guernsey award and they did. They deserve it, they bring a lot of joy, even the staff fight over who works on a Thursday because we look forward to seeing them.’
Nominated by Brock Ward sister Moira Norman for the Specsavers-sponsored Carer of the Year Award, both Mr Smith and Poppet attended the awards ceremony at the Guernsey Press offices last Saturday.
Mr Smith said he was completely humbled.
‘The response has been fantastic,’ he said.
‘Poppet received a basket of treats from Dame Mary Perkins as well, so she has been very spoilt and everybody on the ward has been pleased for us, it’s nice to see.
‘I didn’t realise how much of an impression she made, though it does take a long time to get round the ward due to the amount of love she receives from everyone.
‘I’m now hoping for more spare time. If I can get more time to give back then I would do more of this, it’s more rewarding than anything I’ve ever done.’