19th September 2017
We have supported Nuzzlets for a number of years. Nuzzlets is a fantastic grassroots charity that not only provides a loving home for unwanted animals, but also provides free access for young people with disabilities, special needs and life-threatening illnesses to visit the centre for animal assisted therapy and education. We had a coffee with Mary from Nuzzlets to chat about all the amazing work the charity does.
In 2002, we gave a loving home to three rescued ponies; there, they learned to trust humans and bonds were forged between the animals and the team. This inspired us to continue to give loving homes to unwanted animals and we now have approximately 100 animals in our care.
Everyone benefits, the animals love the attention and the children experience animal therapy. Our animal family has grown; everything we do is totally voluntary and is for the love of animals and to help children.
We soon realised that these animals, once unwanted, had so much love to give that we needed to share it with others. Animals are known to have a calming, therapeutic effect, which lead to us in 2004 to establish a small voluntary group called Nuzzlets and we then welcomed our first visitors from Martin House Children’s Hospice. In 2007 we became a charity; our objectives are to give loving homes to unwanted animals and free access for therapy and education. We specialize in visits for disabled and special needs children and children with life limiting illnesses. We offer tailor made visits to suit their needs and teach them about animal welfare, nature, conservation and farming. Last year we had 200 visits and helped over 1700 people. This includes visitors with mental health problems, special needs, disabilities and life limiting illnesses. We also help the local and wider community, giving access to the countryside and encouraging social inclusion.
Joules have been supporting Nuzzlets for many years, almost from the beginning. They provide financial help and several employees have been to Nuzzlets to support us during voluntary day visits and to generally give a helping hand. Each year a Little Joule T-shirt is sold for Nuzzlets and we benefit from a percentage of the sales.
Joules also provides our Nuzzlets volunteer team with our uniform, which is just amazing. We personalise them by having our logo stitched onto the polo shirts and sweatshirts. They have also been kind enough to provide our visitors with wellies, all the children love them. If that wasn’t enough, Joules has also donated old store window decorations, which we use to decorate our stables and log cabin; they look fantastic, so bright and colourful.
A family visited us from York, they told us that the first time they had seen us was two years ago when we were fund raising at a York Garden Centre. We had Lucy hen and were pushing her around in a pram. Their son, who was five years old at the time, had never spoken a word. He saw the hen going for a walk in a pram, this triggered something in his brain, and he said hen, his first word. His second word was Lucy. We suggested getting him a pet, which they did and now at 7 years old he speaks well.
A Doctor at Martin House said the first time she saw us, we put a guinea pig on a little boy’s lap, she had never seen him respond to anything before, but this morning he tried to stretch his hand out to feel the guinea pig, she was amazed. The following Tuesday she said to him, “You liked that guinea pig, didn’t you” and he smiled, he had responded more than she had thought he could.
An elderly lady in a hospital had not responded to anything, at Christmas we had a very amusing and loud musical toy, we put it on her lap and to the carer’s amazement she opened her eyes, sat up in the wheelchair and started dancing, it was just stunning!
A resident at a nursing home was mute until we put a kitten on her lap, she talked to it non-stop, the carers couldn’t believe it
Would you like to offer your support to our fantastic charities? Visit our Virgin Money Giving page or head into store to see what’s going on. Keep up to date with our efforts by using #JoulesCharityWeek