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Meet Rosie and Jim - the new duo spreading paws-itivity at the Countess of Chester Hospital

The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has two new members of staff who are helping to put big smiles on the faces of both staff and patients.

Volunteer Jim Moubray has been bringing Rosie the therapy dog to the Countess for just four weeks, and in that short time, the 10-year-old golden retriever has already won the hearts of staff and patients.

The pair visit every Wednesday morning, spending time with patients in A&E and sitting in the main entrance, making friends with people coming in and out of the hospital who stop to give Rosie a stroke.

Jim, a retired teacher who also volunteers with Rosie at The Royal Liverpool Hospital, said:

"Rosie's the new dog on the block at the Countess - she's already made some great friends,"

"I think word has spread that Rosie is here as we get dozens of people coming up to us for a chat and a stroke! They make such a fuss of her, giving her toys and treats. I get told all the time that just seeing and interacting with Rosie has made their day so much better, and that makes me so happy,"

Jim, named Rosie deliberately after the 1990s children's show.

And it's not just Countess staff and patients who are fans of Rosie either - Prince William and Princess Catherine were equally as smitten when they met her last year during a royal visit to The Royal Liverpool Hospital, which made headlines all over the world.

A heartwarming video of the royal couple crouching down to stroke her was shown on dozens of national news outlets - prompting members of Jim's family in New Zealand to call him as they recognised Rosie on TV!

Animal therapy within a hospital setting has been proved to have powerful benefits for hospital patients, with studies showing that the presence of animals can have a calming effect, reducing stress and anxiety levels.

Interacting with an animal, even for just a few minutes can help individuals relax and provide a positive distraction from their worries.

And as important as this is for patients, Jim also believes animal therapy is just as important for staff too.

He explains:

"Happy and relaxed staff keep the hospital operating as it should so it's equally as important that the staff benefit too. Animal therapy is so important. I absolutely love doing what I do, seeing people's reactions to Rosie. We're new to the Countess but more and more people are starting to know about 'Rosie Wednesdays'! Just one look at Rosie makes people smile, that's all it takes to make people feel good."

He added:

"We're giving people a reason to smile - that's all there is to it."

Pictured - Rosie with A&E staff.

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