Creepy crawlies take centre stage

A giant snail was one of the unusual guests to visit The Royal Star & Garter Home in Solihull last week.

The gigantic gastropod was among a number of exotic creepy crawlies which residents, relatives, staff and volunteers got to stroke and hold as part of an animal therapy session. Other creatures brought in by ZooLab on Wednesday 18 September were mice, a millipede, a hissing cockroach, and a rather adorable rabbit.

The Royal Star & Garter Homes cares for ex-servicemen and women and their partners living with disability or dementia. Research shows stroking animals can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and increase social interaction and physical activity. It has also been shown to help battle depression and loneliness.

The visit was arranged by activities manager Charlie Wilson, who says: “Some of the insects and creepy crawlies were amazing to see. The residents loved being able to touch them and were really interested to hear about them from the ZooLab expert.”

ZooLab managing director Diane Mathison says: “It’s always a pleasure for ZooLab to visit The Royal Star & Garter Homes. It’s the very least we can do considering the years of service the residents have given our country. We really hope the residents enjoyed our animal therapy sessions which help stimulate and engage participants whilst promoting mental wellbeing. It was an absolute joy to attend.”