This doggy day care changes lives
Paws & Pause is a social enterprise. Our profits help fund our volunteer scheme, which provides people in recovery with employment and training opportunities.
Dogs are joyous, open-hearted animals: being around them can have an amazing effect on people who are going through a hard time with their mental health. Our day care centre is a place of unconditional love, for pups and people, and this therapeutic environment is ideal for empowering our volunteers as they gain key life skills.
So that’s our mission: to provide a dog day care service that’s socially responsible and supports people as they find their way into sustainable employment.
Not only does our social initiative support our volunteers, but it’s also good for your dog! With our large team of carers on-site, you can be sure your pup gets all the attention and love he/she requires.
We would offer trainee placements to people living in the local community who have experienced mental health and/or substance use difficulties. Trainees engage in the program for 6 months and are supported to work towards ‘feeling’ employable. Trainees learn skills for work through caring with the dogs and also reap the benefits of being in a therapeutic environment. (more info on placements below)
We are currently working with Black Thrive, a Lambeth based organisation focused on unemployment within the Lambeth black community, to provide opportunities in the animal sector for Black people living with mental health difficulties. The aim of this partnership is to increase opportunities within the Black community and also to address the huge lack of diversity within the animal care sector.
We would hope to work with similar organisations within Southwark to continue to promote diversity in the sector and really make a difference with the local community within Peckham.
We deliver our social mission by providing trainee placements within our daycare setting.
These placements are open to adults who have experienced mental health difficulties and/or substance use issues. Our programme supports trainees to develop confidence and skills to make decisions and prepare for their next steps into employment, training or study. We support people to manage their mental health in the workplace and practice these skills during their placement so people ‘feel’ employable, rather than outdated employability projects that focus only on the hard skills.
Trainees commit to a minimum of 1 day for 3 -6 months, and want to think about taking the next steps and agree to action plan with their supervisor regulalary.
Trainees must like and enjoy being around dogs and follow health and safety instructions.
Trainees will meet with their supervisor every 2-3 weeks for a 1-1 session to set goals and have space to share ideas and feedback and are valued as team members.
Trainees can get involved with a range of activities depending on their goals, skills and experience and are supported with individual move on plans.
Our Volunteers are referred to us by organisations including St Mungo’s, The Harbour, Orchard Hill College, SLAM, Southwark Volunteer Centre, Black Thrive, Ebony Community stables and more! Trainees can contact us directly to apply for placements if they are not engaged or no longer engaged with support services.
"I started at Paws and Paws as a trainee in September 2019 after being unemployed for a few years due to mental health and substance use issues. My confidence was very low and didn't have any direction in life. At Paws & Pause I have identified my skills in supporting others and found something I am not only passionate about but also good at! I want to take these skills into my future career and am now coordinating the trainee programme here. Since starting here I feel supported in expressing ideas and feel confident in voicing opinions and values as part of a team.
Beforehand I felt very hopeless and uncertain about my future goals. Being diagnosed with a mental health condition I felt like I was going to be stigmatised for life, whereas here I am seen as an equal member of the team. I can see a future whereI can fulfill my ambitions in both my career and personal life and where my mental health doesn't define me." -Jo Watson Volunteer Coordinator