Golden Retriever puppy starts providing support at Fife school

A new nine-week-old Golden Retriever puppy is bringing comfort to pupils at Bell Baxter High School.

Friday, 10th July 2020, 9:41 am
Bella the therapet.

Bella is the newest member of support staff at the school, and her arrival is the culmination of a year-long campaign by two of its pupils.

It began as an English essay, led Callum Christie (14) and Logan Fenton (15), to investigate the benefits of having a dog in school.

Last spring Callum and Logan took their idea to the rector Carol Ann Penrose, before seeking approval from the parent council.

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Finally, they delivered a presentation to the school’s 150 staff.

After securing the endorsement of senior leadership, Callum and Logan were joined by the school’s team of wellbeing ambassadors and set about raising the necessary funds.

They cooked staff lunches, held a Christmas fayre and approached local businesses, including the Bruce Charitable Trust, Caring for Cupar, Wilson Vets and J and T Rogers.

They managed to raise an incredible £2500 to fund the initial purchase and set-up costs for Bella, and are planning events to raise money for her upkeep over the coming years.

Ms Penrose is delighted to welcome the new recruit, adding: “These Bell Baxter pupils embody our school values of togetherness, curiosity and excellence and I am extremely proud of what they have achieved together.”

Bella will live with support teacher, Linda Jeffrey, who will supervise her initial training. When she isn’t in school, Bella will spend the rest of the time as a much-loved family pet.

As she gets older, Bella will be introduced to the life of the school gradually and carefully.

Meanwhile, protocols have been put in place for young people or staff with pet allergies or phobias so parents are reassured that their child is safe. Anyone with any concerns or questions should email Mrs Jeffrey at: [email protected]

If you would like to support the young people and help them to raise money for Bella’s ongoing costs, a JustGiving page can be found at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bella-bellbaxter?utm_term=DKW44akr8 or on the Bell Baxter High School website – bellbaxterhighschool.org.uk. You can also follow her progress on Twitter @Bellbaxter_hs.