BEE AND HOPE, BRAINY DOGS
Bee and Hope are Brainy Dogs who work with Headway Suffolk, the National Lottery funded charity that supports people with brain injury, stroke, neurological conditions and those who care for them, at its Ipswich centre. Hope is a seven-year-old Cocker spaniel x Labrador, and Bee is a two-yearold collie x Labrador x Dalmation, and both belong to Brainy Dogs coordinator Sophie Mayes.
“Bee is the livelier of the two, while Hope is referred to as our ‘bomb proof’ dog,” says Brainy Dogs coordinator Sophie Mayes. “The dogs match different clients and so will work with different people in different settings. They both undertake visits to care homes and work with clients in the centre or in their own homes.”
Brainy Dogs are trained to help people with a neurological condition, and are either their own dogs or Headway dogs. Well behaved companions, they give love and are loved in return. They can help break the ice with strangers, provide social interaction via dog walking, give people something in common with others, provide companionship, especially when friends and/or families leave, give people a reason to get up for in the morning. And if someone needs specific training for their dog Headway can arrange it.
The dogs based at Headway’s Ipswich Centre are provide rehabilitation for people either in the centre or in their homes.
“We also visit care homes and other establishments whose clients may benefit from the dogs,” says Sophie. “The dogs do many tricks and people enjoy doing games with them. It provides rehabilitation in a fun and motivational way. They may also want to walk or groom them.”
Brainy Dogs began when Helen Fairweather, CEO of Headway Suffolk, read a book called Endal about a dog who saved his owner after a brain injury during his time in the Royal Navy. She also watched a TV programme in which dogs went into prisons for training. She put the two ideas
ABOVE: Poppy and Hope are Brainy Dogs for Headway Suffolk RIGHT: Sophie Mayes, Brainy Dog Co-Ordinator for Headway Suffolk with her dogs Hope and Poppy