Lee-on-the-Solent care home introduces lambs to lift residents' spirits

CARE home residents who have struggled during the coronavirus pandemic are all smiles again after making new four-legged friends.

Friday, 14th May 2021, 4:36 pm
Updated Friday, 14th May 2021, 4:38 pm

At The Warren Residential Home in Cherque Lane, Lee-on-the-Solent, residents have not seen family members for months due to Covid-19 restrictions.

So to cheer them up, the care home has brought in four lambs which will now live on the estate full-time.

Sonny, Skittles, Percy and Lucky have immediately won the hearts of residents, who now spend their days feeding and looking after them under the supervision of care home staff.

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The Warren Residential Lodge in Lee-on-the-Solent now has four lambs on-site, which the residents can help feed and cuddle. Picture: Stuart Martin (220421-7042)

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The idea came from director Kim Jackson, who has a family friend that runs a farm.

She said: ‘We had always talked about the idea of running a therapy farm, but the idea never really got off the ground.

‘Then I saw these four lambs that were orphaned because their mother had rejected them – and knew we had to get them in.

Resident Marilyn Linton cuddles one of the lambs. Picture: Stuart Martin (220421-7042)

‘The residents here love anything to do with animals or children, and have totally fallen head over heels for them.’

The care home has plenty of green space for the lambs to run around in, and they seem to have comfortably settled into their new surroundings.

During the Covid-19 pandemic the mood at the care home has spiralled. At one point, six residents died in two months and 70 per cent of staff caught the virus.

But the introduction of the lambs has lifted the spirits of everyone around the estate.

Ms Jackson added: ‘We have had a really tough time during the Covid-19 pandemic, but the introduction of these lambs has really turned things around.

‘It’s been a really positive thing for us – everyone is so much happier at the moment, from the care home residents to the staff members.

‘At the end of the day these are all caring people, and the residents don’t want to be seen as patients, they are still fully-capable of looking after these lambs.

‘It has been proven that animal therapy can reduce stress and anxiety. I’m really pleased that this has worked and hope that other care homes can do something similar.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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