By Liam Driscoll and Megan Ford
Bournemouth students are feline good this exam period with the help of local cats and dogs.
A pair of Bournemouth dogs are on a mission to create smiles across university halls and help promote positive mental health.
Today, Pixie and Shonti, two small Bichon Frise cross’, spent time at Dorchester House where they were helping students to de-stress after their exams.
Cats are also giving students a way to improve their mental wellbeing at the Pause Cat Cafe by offering kitten yoga sessions and mindfulness workshops.
Henry Fitch-bartlett, a first-year Sociology student had just finished an exam this morning, and was one of many who stroked the dogs at Dorchester House. He said:
It’s a very good way to relieve stress.
“My exam this morning could have gone better but now I can just chill out with the dogs and forget about what happened.”
Samantha Claxton, a second-year Forensic Investigation student, chose to work for the initiative after receiving the benefits of BU Res Life in her first year.
She explained how bringing the dogs to students throughout exam time can help to get them out of their rooms and get them to interact with one another and not just their flatmates.
Samantha added: “With the dogs, we give them stress relief to make their life easier here and to help them make a home away from home.
They’ve been a really big hit.”
In Bournemouth town centre cats are also helping students through this stressful time alongside trained therapists and councillors.
Jaya Bacosta, owner of Pause Cat Cafe, said: “I thought it was a really good time to start talking about mental health.
Even for people who don’t suffer with mental health it can be a difficult time of year.”
The cafe are holding events throughout January, to destress students in prime exam season.