Oxfordshire residents find a new Buddy


Buddy, a 10-week-old border collie, is becoming a familiar face among residents and staff at Orchard House Neurological Rehabilitation centre, in Oxfordshire. 

Visiting five days a week with his owner Alex, who is the Registered Manager of the centre, he is the first dog to attend the rehabilitation centre and is undergoing training to become a therapy dog. 

Orchard House, recently rated Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – placing it in the top 1% of healthcare services in the UK – provides specialist community-based transitional rehabilitation in the village of Harwell in Oxfordshire. It supports adults with neurological conditions resulting from injury, illness or disease.

Alexandra Costa, Christchurch Group’s Registered Home Manager, commented: “We are delighted that Buddy has become a familiar face at Orchard House, and although he’s very new to staff and residents he is already making a great impression and bringing plenty of enjoyment.

“As part of our person-centred rehabilitation programmes we focus on improving functional independence. Allowing residents to walk outside with Buddy will benefit the users with exercise and building confidence and improve their cognitive skills by playing with Buddy and using commands.

“I know how much love a dog can bring into someone’s life and when Buddy visits he certainly gets a great response.”

Buddy is very new to the role but service users are already falling in love with his calming nature. 

One service user commented: “It’s great to have Buddy at Orchard House, I love the calming effect he has on me.” 

Another resident at Orchard House who has Huntingdon disease is very much looking forward to taking Buddy for a walk in the park. 


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