08 May 2015
UCLan Students’ Union organises ‘Puppy Room’
Stressed out students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have experienced a relaxing day thanks to a dedicated puppy and guide dog room.
The event was organised by UCLan’s Students’ Union (SU) in conjunction with the charity Guide Dogs, with students being given the opportunity to meet and play with puppies and guide dogs to de-stress as end of year deadlines and exams loom. In total 320 students visited the puppy room, with a waiting list of people on standby, and each donated £1.50 to the charity to take part.
Research has proven the benefits of animals in improving concentration and reducing stress. The puppy room has also benefitted the charity as early socialising in different environments is important for the puppies’ development. Guide dog puppies need to be calm and confident in all situations as in future they will make crucial guiding decisions for their new owners.
“The event proved to be a great success and very popular with lots of positive feedback from students on social media."
Lucy Haigh, Students’ Union Campaigns Officer and organiser of the event, said: “The event proved to be a great success and very popular with lots of positive feedback from students on social media.
“I am so pleased to lead on the organisation of an event that will be beneficial to all those involved. We are delighted to raise awareness of the Guide Dogs charity as well as to help students through a period which can be stressful for many. We will hopefully run the event again next year.”
Andrew Ball, a first year sports therapy student, visited the puppy room. He said: “I have an exam next Tuesday and I was feeling stressed about it earlier today. Taking time out in the puppy room was definitely relaxing and allowed me to switch off for a bit. It was also great to learn more about how guide dogs are trained and work.”
"The event is a great opportunity for the students to meet our puppies and working guide dogs; helping them gain a real insight into the work we do."
Guide Dogs Community Fundraiser Siobhan Cullen said: “It’s fantastic that UCLan is fundraising for Guide Dogs. The event is a great opportunity for the students to meet our puppies and working guide dogs; helping them gain a real insight into the work we do.
“The University will hopefully raise enough money to name and sponsor its own guide dog puppy. And, as we rely entirely on public generosity to fund the guide dogs service, we hope that the students’ energy and creativity can complement our dedicated volunteer fundraisers in supporting Guide Dogs’ life-changing work.”
This event is one of several the Students’ Union is organising to tackle exam stress and gather useful feedback to make the period that little bit easier on students. Other initiatives planned include a healthy living campaign, free water and advice on how students can get a better night’s sleep.
See UCLan's Flickr gallery for more images of the event.