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The Hugs Foundation visits Kernow House

The residents of Kernow House in Launceston were recently treated to a wholesome morning in the company of the very friendly rescue pony ‘Dude’, who was visiting from The Hugs Foundation near Bodmin.

The residents were delighted to see the five-year-old Shetland x Dartmoor pony walking around the garden and car park of Kernow House, run by Barchester Healthcare, for a morning of cuddles and chatter with the sweet-natured Dude.

General manager at Kernow House, Leigh Stanley, said: “Our residents have really enjoyed their visitor. We knew that having a pony here would be a bit of fun for all our residents, especially as some find it difficult to go on many outings in our minibus. We are always looking for new activities for the residents and today we have seen the enjoyment and the therapeutic influence animals can have on people.”

The Hugs Foundation rescues and rehabilitates horses and ponies, working to find them new ‘forever’ homes. Hugs also has a range of projects to support children and young people, the elderly, military personnel, and veterans to improve health and wellbeing. With overwhelming pressure on mental health services, the charity is helping fill a vital gap to support those in crisis.

Dude’s visit to Kernow House has helped to provide enrichment through spending time with the residents, promoting happiness and boosting confidence. In some cases of residential visits, residents are very sadly confined to their bed practically 24/7 due to their ailments and conditions, while some are in end-of-life care and lack hope or purpose. New evidence also indicates that animal interactions help trigger memories in people with conditions such as Alzheimer’s.

Since opening in 2017, Hugs have helped over 580 young people and conducted over 5,000

hours of on-site sessions, with outcomes including reintegration into school, decreased anxiety, and depression, increased social inclusion, diminished suicidal thoughts, and improved life skills, coping mechanisms and resilience for long term impact.

They have also rescued over 170 horses and ponies (and an array of other animals that now make up the Hugs team) and rehomed over 100.

If you would like to support The Hugs Foundation and the vital work they do, you can

become a Hugs Hero from as little as £2 a month. Visit to find out more or speak to Laura on 07948404988.

For further information about Kernow House, call 01566 777841 or email


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