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In their own small way, miniature ponies Smokey and Bandit have achieved celebrity status in two Truro care homes.

With the style and aplomb normally associated with the red carpet, the two horses nuzzled their way into the affection of both staff and residents at Mountford and Redannick care homes in Truro. Equally fussed over were the two therapy dogs, Maud and Cyril, who accompanied them – bringing smiles of joy to everyone they encountered.

The event was a joint initiative organised by Cornwall Care, which runs sixteen homes in the county, Bluebird Care, which specialises in homecare and Stayathome Cornwall, a domiciliary care provider and part of The CHAOS (Community Helping All Of Society) Group. The equine and canine stars came from CHAOS Farm, a registered agricultural care facility on the Roseland Peninsula.

“We’ve never done anything like this before, but it was such a huge success that we’re planning visits to other homes before Christmas,” said Cornwall Care Employee Engagement and Wellbeing Advisor Andrea Redfern. “It was really heart-warming to see the reaction the ponies and dogs had. I’m sure they loved it too – they certainly got a lot of cuddles.”

“We are thrilled to be able to support this initiative,” said Caroline Somerville, Registered Operations Manager for Bluebird Care. “Bluebird Care team members are keen to volunteer their time as they know what a difference interaction with animals can make to someone’s day. Working with such proactive and positive people from Stayathome and Cornwall Care is a joy and we are very proud to be in partnership with them.” 

“Lots of people are unaware Stayathome Cornwall founded The CHAOS Group,” said CHAOS Director Babs Rounsevell. “Their breadth of health and social care experience provides a unique insight into our community’s needs and together we are creating a movement that is bringing the care sector together. With teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can occur.”