Working with Sarah and Frank has proven to be a revelation in how amazing Animal Assisted Therapy is in supporting, not only our more vulnerable pupils, but others who may be just struggling with certain worries in their life.
Frank has been accepted as part of our school community. Everybody knows who we mean when we mention ‘Frank’….and in some cases, when we are talking about ‘The Amazing Frank’ to people outside of school, they believe him to be a person, because of the affection with which he is spoken about.
Frank and Sarah have touched many lives for us – and their impact extends to the whole family. Take for instance X, a severely autistic pupil, with high end needs. X has a phobia of dogs. Nothing his family does can involve a dog; no play dates, no walks in the forest, even avoiding places where there may even be the possibility of a dog.
But then Frank comes to the rescue! Through Sarah’s excellent ability to understand X and ‘hear’ what he tells her - a sixth sense unearths itself. After only a few sessions, organised around instinctive intuition, X now sits and talks to Frank, touches his fur, plays games with him – and even strokes his nose.
Frank recently wrote to X and told him how proud he was of him, telling him how he was going to miss him over the Easter holiday and recalling ‘the good times’ they have had together. X was overwhelmed by this letter – and for X, he became quite emotional. X, who is not convinced that he has any friends, now believes that he does. His friend, he says is Frank and to quote ‘How weird is that, my friend is a dog….a dog. My friend is a dog!’
X went to visit a family friend the other day with his parents and sister. They have a dog.
Just as telling, is Y. Y is adopted. Y has never spoken about her past or how she came to be adopted. People only know her story from what her adoptive mum tells us. That is until you introduce her to Frank. From the bottom of her heart, deep emotions that have been put into boxes and locked away, have been shared with Frank. Y’s adoptive mum cried when we were able to tell her that Y had told Frank how lucky she was that her adoptive mummy and daddy really love her and that she feels really safe with them.
I could go on with story after story but suffice to say, Sarah and Frank have impacted on our school in a way that words do not really express. Individually they are both amazing but as a team – well…..they are just awesome!
Headteacher, Epping Upland C.of E. Primary School
"My daughter, X aged 12, received 6 sessions of therapy with Frank and Sarah to help her with confidence, self-esteem and anxiety.
I can’t thank you both enough for the positive experience this was for X. She thoroughly enjoyed her time working with Frank and her self-esteem and confidence has grown so much. Sarah was encouraging and supportive of X and Frank is just a most wonderful dog with a great character. Frank and X built a lovely relationship, which was evident to see at each session.
This experience has also given my daughter an ambition to be a vet as she said, “I am really good with dogs so I think I will be a good vet!
I cant recommend Sarah and Frank enough and I will miss their weekly visits