Pets are known to have positive health benefits such as relieving depression and anxiety, lowering stress, and preventing loneliness – something over one third of people with a learning disability feel almost all of the time. This is one reason why David Cottom is thrilled to be welcoming two furry friends into his home thanks to the support of national learning disability charity, Hft.
His new rabbits, glamorously named Coco and Chanel, are the two newest additions to the charity’s residential service in St Neots in Cambridgeshire.
David has always dreamed of having his own pet rabbits to nurture and spend time with. However, this recently seemed unattainable as Registered Care Home Manger, Dawn Thorpe, explains:
“Due to a number of obstacles, from changes in the team to the significant disruption of the pandemic, David had almost given up hope of ever getting his rabbits.”
However, when his recent application to Hft’s Extra Special Fund was successful, David was finally in a position to purchase Coco and Chanel.
“Last year, David and his keyworker, began to research into all the care needs, costs and responsibilities involved in having rabbits, including which are the friendliest to buy.
“Together, they visited pet shops, spoke to rescue centres and visited a local vet. And now, we’re pleased to say, here they are!”
Hft’s Extra Special Fund is specifically designed to fund grants of up to £1,000, aimed at supporting as many adults with learning disabilities as possible. It is used to enhance the lives of those supported by the charity through activities or experiences, to contribute to items or equipment that make a difference to their quality of life, or to ease the transition to between accommodation.
“David is thrilled to have two new furry friends around the house. He is really grateful that he was granted the funds to support his dream.”