Ulster University Students’ Union partnered with Causeway Coast Dog Rescue to help assist with their new Exam Stress Campaign. Launched this year to help students cope with pressure and stress over the examination period, the CCDR provided a ‘Puppy Petting Room’ enabling students to experience the therapeutic properties of spending time with a dog.
The ‘Puppy Petting Room’ gave students the chance to come and sit down in a calm environment over the space of two hours with small, affectionate dogs that have been rescued and rehomed. The event gave students a ‘time-out’ from their studies to enjoy the company of the pets, and the dogs loved the attention too!
Kevin McStravock, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, from Coleraine campus said, ““The idea behind a puppy petting session is to offer students an opportunity to relax and destress. Research has proven that spending time with animals, particularly dogs can improve concentration, lower blood pressure and release endorphins to help with relaxation. The exam period is often a stressful and tiring time for students with the pressure often affecting students’ mental health. We hope that this revision break with a difference has helped relieve stress for our students and we are hugely grateful to Causeway Coast Dog Rescue for their support with this event”.
The Exam Stress campaign incorporated the ‘puppy petting session’ with the Causeway Coast based charity, which took place at Ulster Universities’ Coleraine campus on Wednesday. Everyone’s faces lit up as they entered the room, as over 100 students got involved with the session which ran from 1pm to 3pm. Feedback from students who attended the event were all positive and highly in favour of it returning to the University.
One student said, “After a stressful exam period, it’s so good to see everyone happy and even relaxed. Whenever you just look at these dogs, it automatically just puts a smile on your face. They are so happy to see you and it just fills you with automatic joy.”
Kevin continued, “We kick-started our Exam Stress campaign before Christmas with tea and coffee giveaways in the library every evening. We’ve continued this over the exam period, also giving out bubble wrap, and have been using social media to share tips for exam success. We see this event as the pinnacle of the campaign.”
The Causeway Coast Dog Rescue Charity, founded in 2005, is located on the north coast. The CCDR has continued to grow due to the demand for their services in rescuing and rehoming dogs in Northern Ireland. The volunteer based charity provide support with cruelty investigations, working in partnership with local communities in finding dogs a forever home.
Chairman of the CCDR, Margaret Dimsdale-Bobby, said, “In the past couple of years, mental health has become an increasing problem in our younger generation. Especially around exam time, students are really feeling the pressure and may feel that they have no one to turn to.
“Here at Causeway Coast Dog Rescue we want to help support schools and universities to go further to educate both teenagers and young adults on the importance of owning and looking after a dog appropriately.
Research has proven that owning a dog relieves depression and improves exercise habits. Studies even suggest that having a pet can help improve survival after a heart attack. Today is all about providing additional support where possible and both the Students Union and the CCDR aim to ensure the students benefit from this event. We will continue to work in partnership to research and host other opportunities for students on the north coast.”
Kevin McStravock insists the University will do their best to make sure things run as smoothly as they can for the students, during the examination period;
“UUSU will continue to promote positive mental health with some of our upcoming campaigns and envisage this as the beginning of a very positive working relationship with Causeway Coast Dog Rescue.”
All eyes are on ‘Harry’ as students from the Coleraine University Campus attend a Puppy Petting Room as part of the students union stress relief week event. The Causeway Coast Dog Rescue brought along some of their rescue dogs to enable students to experience the joys of petting and playing with dogs. The event was a huge success as students also kindly donated their pennies to the charity. Kevin McStravock (Vice President Coleraine Campus) seen here at the back of the picture organised the event in partnership with the CCDR. www.causewaycoastdogrescue.org @CCDogRescue
The star of the show takes centre stage as part of the Ulster University’s Students Union Stress Relief Week. ‘Harry’ was overcome with cuddles and photographs as students enjoyed their time out from their exams. A puppy petting room was set up by the Students Union and the Causeway Coast Dog Rescue to support students and enable them to enjoy some relaxation with the rescue dogs. www.causewaycoastdogrescue.org
Tara Cunningham seen here with ‘Harry’ as one of the Causeway Coast Dog Rescues’ dog which took part in the Students Union Coleraine Campus Stress Relief Week event. The Puppy Petting Room was established to support students through exam week which was a huge success as both students and puppy’s had a great day with photographs and lots of attention! www.causewaycoastdogrescue.org
Student Jodie Wilson getting her photograph taken with ‘Teddy’ at the University of Ulster’s Students Union Stress Relief event in their ‘Puppy Petting Room’, supported by the Causeway Coast Dog Rescue. www.causewaycoastdogrescue. @CCDogRescue
Margaret Dimsdale-Bobby, Chairman Causeway Coast Dog Rescue seen here (right) with Students from Coleraine Campus as they host a ‘Puppy Petting Room’ to support students in a week of Stress Relief events. Experiencing full joy with some of the charity’s rescue dogs are Holly Neill, Rebecca Doherty and Kevin McStravock (Vice President Coleraine Campus). For more information on the works of the charity, go to www.causewaycoastdogrescue.org @CCDogRescue.
Megan McIlroy seen here cuddling ‘Tiny Tim’ a beautiful rescue dog from the Causeway Coast Dog Rescue, as students from the University of Ulster Coleraine attended a Puppy Petting Room, as part of the Students Union Stress Relief week. www.causewaycoastdogrescue.org @CCDogRescue
Pictures of pure joy and stress free enjoyment seen here are students from the Coleraine Campus Ulster University as they attended the Puppy Petting Class as part of their Stress Free Week Programme organised by Kevin McStravock Vice President Coleraine Campus, in partnership with Causeway Coast Dog Rescue. The event was a huge success with over 100 students queuing up to get their turn as meeting the puppy stars of the day. www.causewaycoastdogrescue.org
Causeway Coast Dog Rescue’s Chairman Margaret Dimsdale-Bobby seen here as students from the University of Ulster Coleraine listen intently as one lucky student cuddles ‘Tiny Tim’, a rescue dog from the charity. Students Union organised a programme of Stress Relief events to support students through exam week and the Puppy Petting Class was a huge success with over 100 students queuing for their turn to meet the puppy stars of the day. www.causewaycoastdogrescue.org