Cosmo and Nigel bring festive cheer to community hospitals

December 15, 2023

This week colleagues and patients at two of Gloucestershire’s community hospitals have welcomed a pair of special visitors from Cotswold Vale Alpacas.

Cosmo and Nigel embarked on tours of the wards at North Cotswolds Hospital in Moreton-in-Marsh on Monday (11 December) and Tewkesbury Community Hospital yesterday (Thursday 14 December).

Sixteen-year-old Cosmo has been showing two-year-old newbie Nigel the ropes, posing with colleagues, patients and visitors to spread some Christmas cheer.

The visits were arranged by Matron Julie Ellery, thanks to the generous support of the League of Friends of Moreton District (North Cotswolds) Hospital and Tewkesbury Hospital League of Friends, who funded the visits.

Cosmo has been trained from an early age to be walked and handled and has been a regular, well-behaved visitor to both hospitals over the years. He is able to alert his handler when he needs to go to the toilet, can even use the lifts, and is now training young Nigel to do the same.

Cosmo and Nigel’s owner and trainer Ginnie Meakin said: “It’s a well-known fact that animals are great therapy, relieving stress and giving people the feel-good factor. Cosmo and Nigel brighten people’s day and make them smile. We also get a lot of happy tears.

“Cosmo is the perfect alpaca to take into hospitals and care homes. It is amazing to see the smiles on people’s faces when they meet him; especially those in hospital who might be missing their own pets.”

Matron Julie Ellery said: “It’s been absolutely wonderful to see the alpacas, patients, carers and nurses all come together and enjoy the visits.”

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