We would like to introduce our new therapy dogs, Arlo and Romeo. Arlo, a Labradoodle, will be based in the Pastoral Tutors’ office, Sixth form Building, with his owner Kathryn McEwen. Romeo, Fox Red Labrador, will be situated in the Pastoral Tutors’ office, Professions Building, with his owner Sara Milsom on Monday through to Wednesday.

The aim of introducing a therapy dogs to the college is to help students to calm down and relax during difficult times. Arlo and Romeo will also help students with their communication skills and to become more confident within themselves.

Researchers have found that students are significantly less stressed and anxious, and even have increased happiness and energy, immediately following spending time in a drop-in session with a dog present.

Kathryn McEwen, Arlo’s owner and Pastoral Tutor at Andover College, said: “Arlo’s first day was incredible, it has been great seeing him interact with the students so well. I have never seen so many students in my office in one day!”

Mathew Belson, Student Wellbeing Co-ordinator, Student Services, at Andover College, said: “As part of our development plan to continue to progress our excellent wellbeing provision, Andover College is delighted to welcome Arlo and Romeo to their new roles as therapy dogs. There is strong evidence now into the benefits to the wellbeing of students and staff alike of animals being in close proximity, particularly with regards to reduced anxiety and low mood. Arlo and Romeo have only been on campus for about a week but already feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.”

We have spoken to many students and the feedback has been extremely positive with most students saying that seeing Arlo around the college naturally relieves stress and has brought the college together.

Our students are excited to welcome Arlo and Romeo and look forward to them helping out as many students as possible! What good boys!