Day of fun at Featherdale for some very special children
Story by Nick Soon
FURRY and slimy residents of Featherdale Wildlife Park in Blacktown helped heal vulnerable children with brain illnesses and brain injuries last week.
Brainwave — a charity supporting children with brain illnesses or injuries — hosted the day of fun as part of a care program to support families.
Child psychologist Sandy Rea said such days provided psychological benefits to children affected by disability and long-term illness.
“Cuddling animals is a wonderful way for children to reduce stress, decrease a sense of loneliness and anxiety, and have a sense of connectedness to a living thing,” she said.
“Therapeutically, the animal/child relationship assists children who endure emotional distress as well as physical problems.
‘‘Children often use animals to derive emotional support where they talk to them when they are feeling sad, happy, and angry and even share secret experiences.”
Spokeswoman and founder of Brainwave, Jo Nicholls, said for some of these families, such days were their only fun outings.
“When children are sick, life is serious,’’ she said.
‘‘These children embrace wholeheartedly the opportunity to participate in fun-filled activities.’’
All activities are supervised by Brainwave volunteers and professional trainers.
Article from Rouse-Hill Stanhope Gardens News