Stamford College, part of Inspire Education Group, were delighted to host representatives of ITV News, who filmed a segment about the College’s resident Trainee Therapy Dog, Eddi.
Eddi, the black Labrador Retriever, became an official member of staff at the beginning of the academic year, regularly working on site as part of her development journey towards becoming a certified therapy dog. Whilst learner-led interactions assist in Eddi’s progression, her calm and docile disposition supports students, specifically learners within the Skills for Work & Living department, in their own development.
Research into the effect of dogs in learning environments reveals a host of benefits, including teaching interpersonal skills, improving motivation for learning and enhancing relationships with peers – particularly sought-after skills in a post-Covid climate. A wealth of incidental learning opportunities have also arisen since the welcoming of Eddi. For example, when Eddi visits the vet, it opens up important discussions about the responsibilities of pet owners, and even the National Health Service. Eddi has also helped students to engage in academic subjects – a popular activity being frisbee data collection, whereby the learners count how many times Eddi catches a frisbee, and later use the data to practice percentage calculations in maths class.
Having learnt of Eddi’s achievements during a previous visit to the College (for the purpose of filming a segment about women in the construction industry), ITV News were keen to return to campus to meet her. Camera crew filmed various shots of Eddi going about her daily duties, enjoying a game of fetch on the field, and even of her sat at an office desk with a cup of coffee! Two members of staff, Laura Rees, Head of Faculty for SEND, Learner Engagement and Ambitions, and Katherine Mears, Skills for Work & Living Lecturer, alongside three Skills for Work & Living students, were interviewed by ITV about the benefits of interactions with Eddi.
Eddi’s owner, and Skills for Work & Living Operational Lead, Beverley Peasgood, was delighted that ITV shared the love for Eddi; “It was so exciting to have ITV visit to film Eddi. The students and staff have provided unwavering support from the very beginning of Eddi’s journey and have helped her develop into the role perfectly. Huge thanks to Stamford College for providing a brilliant placement for Eddi to work and learn, and very special thanks to our amazing students and staff for helping Eddi develop into a great Education and Wellbeing Dog.”
Thank you to ITV News for providing the opportunity for Inspire Education Group to share Eddi’s inspirational story.