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New service in Cornwall to help people cope with pets' deaths is looking for supporters

By WBNews  |  Posted: March 14, 2013

Veterinary nurse Sarah Wyatt, left, of Duchy Vets, Gemma Kalkan, head veterinary care assistant, and Ali Samuels, founder of Ally

Veterinary nurse Sarah Wyatt, left, of Duchy Vets, Gemma Kalkan, head veterinary care assistant, and Ali Samuels, founder of Ally

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A new service is being set up to help people cope with the death of a pet.

The Ally community interest company is the brainchild of Ali Samuels, who set it up after working as a nurse and suffering her own bereavements.

It will be run by a team of trained supporters and is looking for others to complete the course and register to help others. Interest is expected from staff or volunteers at community health or social agencies, veterinary practices, animal establishments or individuals who have experience in care-related professions.

DuchyVets in Redruth, Hayle and Penryn, and Mounts Bay Veterinary Practice in Penzance are already piloting the scheme and anticipate referring people who have lost a pet or  animal soon.

Ms Samuels said: "The loss of a beloved pet can be devastating and the consequences of this loss, if not fully acknowledged, may affect one's health and wellbeing. Our aim is to support people at this difficult time and focus on what they need to prepare and adjust to the loss of their pet. This may include home visits and some telephone contact.

"Those who are experiencing the loss of their pet or animal will be offered help by an Ally supporter … who may work or volunteer within a veterinary group or animal establishment, or from within a community agency supporting people who are isolated and vulnerable.

"By providing this much needed service, and creating a unique alliance between these groups and agencies, a stronger partnership will be forged with the primary health care teams. This will hopefully prevent people from 'falling through the net', compromising their physical and mental health.''

Veterinary nurse Sarah Wyatt, director of three Duchy Vets establishments, said: "Our clients and their pets are like members of our family and the loss of a pet effects people deeply.  It is such a difficult time and important for us that we are always here for our clients. We are looking forward to having a trained Ally supporter within our surgery."

A lottery grant awarded last year can provide full funding for the new course, which is accredited by the Open College Network South West Region and starting in May.

For further information visit www.allyforall.com, e-mail info@allyforall.com or ring 01736 333334.

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