Lort Smith Pet Therapy volunteers move online to help the community

Lort Smith Pet Therapy teams have been creating videos to provide enriching experiences to Melbourne’s most in need.

The program, which has been on hold in March due to COVID-19, aims to provide comfort and relief to people experiencing illness, pain, adversity and loneliness.

However, the amazing volunteers and their dogs have continued to provide comfort and relief to staff and residents at facilities online.

“Lort Smith Pet Therapy volunteers are incredible. We’ve had volunteers who would not normally take to social media embrace technology and help create video updates to people in need,” says Megan Nutbean, Lort Smith’s Community Outreach Coordinator.

Sofia, who has been volunteering in the Lort Smith Pet Therapy program for two years now, created the video with the Lort Smith team for clients she and Jinkee would normally see face to face.

Their video can be found on Lort Smith’s YouTube channel at: https://youtu.be/uucAdgDE9Ww

“[Jinkee and I] really miss our regular visits to Good Samaritan Inn. You are more conscious of it at a time when everybody needs cheering up…..We can’t wait to get as back – as soon as it’s safe to do so,” says Sofia.

Volunteering Victoria has been supporting organisations in finding new ways to engage with volunteers and speaks highly of Lort Smith’s initiatives,

“This year is very different for organisations like Lort Smith who rely on volunteers. Everyone has had to find new ways to connect, engage and contribute. It’s great to see the innovative ways everyone has found to thank their volunteers for their incredible contribution,” says Scott Miller, CEO Volunteering Victoria.

Lort Smith is fortunate to have the support of almost 400 dedicated individuals who donate their time, talent and knowledge.

This includes the 143 Lort Smith Pet Therapy teams, who in 2019 volunteered 2,850 hours to help improve the wellness of patients or residents at partner facilities in the community.

Read more about the Lort Smith Pet Therapy program.