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Animal therapy service gets £5,000 boost after award win

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A West Lothian-based animal therapy service will be investing in a new base, sensory equipment and animal enclosures, after winning £5,000 in a national competition.

Party Animal Encounters, founded in Livingston four years ago, was awarded the money as part of the OneFamily Foundation Community Awards, which are run twice-yearly and provide life-changing sums to organisations, groups and projects across the UK.

Having previously had no premises to operate from, the Party Animal Encounters team will use the £5,000 award to set up a base where children with special needs, and adults with mental health problems or dementia, can spend time with animals including dogs, rabbits, raccoons, foxes and meerkats – reducing stress and improving their communication skills.

The organisation was nominated for a Community Award by Lynne McKeag, a OneFamily customer, whose friend’s son has autism and already benefits from therapy through Party Animal Encounters. It was one of 24 organisations presented with an award in this latest round.

Sean Carr, owner of Party Animal Encounters, said:

“The money we’ve been awarded will help us buy expensive sensory equipment that will really benefit the families that visit. Not only that, we can ensure our beloved animals have good enclosures where they’re comfortable and feel at home.

“We’re ecstatic that we’ve won and that we’ll now be able to provide even more services for our visitors. We’d like to thank everyone who voted for us, the OneFamily Foundation, and Lynne for helping to make our ambitions a reality.”

The Community Awards are run by the OneFamily Foundation, an organisation set up by financial mutual OneFamily to redistribute a proportion of its profits to help its customers, their families and local communities.

Karl Elliott, marketing director at OneFamily, said:

“Sean and his team have such a drive to make a difference while putting smiles on peoples’ faces – we’re really pleased to support this worthwhile cause.

“Our Community Awards are designed to benefit the causes closest to our customers’ hearts, giving community groups and projects the funding boost they need to continue to offer their vital work.

“The next Community Awards will launch on Monday 19 September, so I’d urge customers in West Lothian with an active policy to get involved and nominate a cause close to their heart.”

Through the OneFamily Foundation, OneFamily aspires to make £5million available to its customers – to improve their lives or to help them make a positive difference to their local communities.

For more information please visit: https://www.onefamily.com/your-foundation/community-awards/