Volleyball WA (VWA) staff recently took our dogs to visit our neighbours at the Bethanie Social Centre here in West Perth.
The Volleyball WA staff started bringing their dogs to work once a week during 2020 to help staff cope with the additional stress of COVID – 19 and have continued this tradition into 2021. Anyone visiting our office on a Thursday should expect to be met at the door by our four leggered reception staff, greeted with a cold wet nose and a furiously wagging tail.
Volleyball WA takes our role of promoting positive mental well-being in our community seriously, we have a mental health charter and partner with the WA Association for Mental Health & i-yarn in this space to deliver mental well-being knowledge and conversation about this topic.
Bethanie Social Centre is a place for seniors aged 55+, keeping them in their homes but offering some flexible daytime support providing activities, health promotion, social engagement, and therapy.
It is well documented that dogs bring about many health and well-being benefits including increased physical activity, reduced risk of heart disease, and increased immunity to allergies. Dogs make great companions for seniors, they provide a social icebreaker, offer protection, and have been known to assist those with Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
For us, the dogs provide a reason to get away from our desks for a break, share stories of their antics and generally rejoice at them spreading their affection and slobber with everyone in the office. Our visit at Bethany was a welcome distraction from the day and a wonderfully warm way to meet some locals, hear their stories and share some laughs.
For our senior neighbours, they get the benefits of physical contact and activity with the dogs, socialisation, a break from routine and a chance to reminisce.
As for the dogs they really enjoyed the new environment, being around new people and the countless belly rubs.
Sharing our dogs with the neighbours aligns directly to our key values of inclusiveness, family, respect, growth, well-being and accessibility and we look forward to them featuring as a monthly highlight for the customers of Bethanie.