Junction Support Services: Therapy Dog Program – Update

Toast, the star of Junction Support Services Therapy Dog Program is all grown up! 🐶

With this year’s Give500 Pitch Night just around the corner we spoke with Rachel from the 2021 Give500 winners, Junction Support Services for an update on their project and it brings us such joy to share that Toast has excelled throughout the program and has just passed his annual accreditation with flying colours. Providing over 300 hours of support since this program began, Rachel explained that, “Toast is now calm around other dogs, can speak, whisper and back up.”

“He has been given the nickname of Dennis, short for Dennis the Menace for his naughty but fun-loving alter ego.” Overall though, consensus is that he’s a very good boy!

Rachel highlighted stories of positive community outcomes including regarding our ever-generous community. “Another lovely story is that two lovely young people in our community heard about Toast. They decided to raise money for Toast which they presented to him on his 2nd birthday.”

Junction Support Services with the assistance of Toast have achieved such positive change in our community.

Toast is engaging across residential care homes and in children’s counselling and case management programs. Toast also regularly attends our new Youth Space (Windbreak3690) and helps young people with social anxiety to connect with their peers. Windbreak is currently open on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons (3:30 -7pm), where Junction Support Services cooks dinner and engages young people in activities. Toast adds an extra layer of calm and fun to this environment.

Rachel shared a wonderlful story of a young person in one of the residential homes. “He really struggles to engage with workers and although he wants to do things in community his social anxiety prevents him. He has had multiple engagement with Toast and we have just offered him the opportunity to become an official “youth handler” at Windbreak. This would mean that he accompanies Toast at the space during opening hours. He has readily accepted the offer and will now attend Windbreak3690 officially. Junction Support Services are hoping that this will assist him to make connections and increase his positive involvement in community. Without Toast, there would be no chance he would feel comfortable coming down the space.”

Due to the success of the program Junction Support Services are now able to look at adding to their Animal Assisted Therapy program with new dogs in the coming years. A terrific outcome!

Thank you to out generous Give500 Donors, it’s because of you that these projects can have a continued ripple style outcome, as seen with Toast and the growing Therapy Dog Program.

Don’t underestimate the power of your donation!

Thank you to Albury Business Connect for your continuous generosity towards Give500 and in return these great opportunities for our growing community.

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