PEACE – Pet and Companion
Founded in Aberdeen at the end of 2016, Pet and Companion (PEACE) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO), providing Pastoral Care along with Canine Therapy to people in need of support and companionship, particularly: the elderly; patients receiving end of life care; and students during stressful periods.
Aim and Vision
Our aim is to help alleviate the loneliness and isolation experienced by many of those we visit, and thereby improve people’s mental health and general well-being. Our vision is to have PEACE Teams of pastoral carers and their therapy dogs visiting people in need of support in Care Homes, hospitals, hospices and University/college campuses all over Scotland.
Pastoral care is the ministry of care and counselling with a focus on healing, reconciling, guiding and sustaining.
During visits, the presence of the PEACE dog helps to create a relaxed environment in which the person being visited and the pastoral carer can enjoy conversation and companionship. The pastoral carer offers both a listening ear and a means of support, happy to talk through any concerns or fears a person may have. PEACE’s pastoral carers are not trained counsellors, but do have experience in advising and helping people through difficult times.
Where appropriate, the pastoral carer can discuss questions people may have about the Christian faith, explaining the peace that can be found through a relationship with God. For people who would like to attend church but are unable to do so, the pastoral carer can read the Bible or pray with them if they wish.
Dogs have been our companions for hundreds of years. Most breeds have developed over the years to become wonderful family pets. Studies show that the presence of a dog can help reduce an individual’s heart rate and anxiety levels, especially whilst stroking the animal. This calming ability is the basis of canine therapy. Therapy dogs are taken to visit individuals who could benefit from a relaxing environment, and from the positive distraction that the animals create.