Cute therapy dogs relieve travel stress at London City Airport
- Credit: � 2019 Andrew Baker
Flying can be stressful – but luckily for London City Airport (LCA) passengers and staff, some fluffy friends were on hand to ease worries this week.
The departures lounge welcomed therapy dogs from The Cuddle Club, which specialises in workplace wellbeing, on Wednesday as part of a trial coinciding with National Stress Awareness Day.
Evidence suggests giving attention to dogs lowers blood pressure and heart rate, helping people to be calmer and more mindful.
The visit was an opportunity for The Cuddle Club to demonstrate how dogs can be a useful emotional outlet and have a positive impact in a busy airport setting.
The pack of pooches included French bulldog Chubbs, Cavalier King Charles spaniel Tilly, and Pomeranians Kobe and Cedric.
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The Cuddle Club founder Aneka Johnson said: "We were delighted to bring our therapeutic pooches to LCA, helping alleviate stresses experienced by both flyers and staff working in a fast-paced, busy environment.
"Our dog therapy initiative prides itself in working with forward-thinking communities and employers to implement tailored wellbeing strategies to reduce the challenges derived from stress, anxiety and poor mental health."
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The calming canines undergo rigorous training and assessment to work in a variety of environments, ensuring they are relaxed and remain calm.
Dogs are never on duty for more than two hours in the interests of their welfare.
LCA recently published a report on the relationship between transport and mental health, which concluded that the way people travel and their experience at rail stations, airports and on roads, could play a significant role in improving their overall mental wellbeing.
The airport welcomes many passengers with a hidden disability, for whom the airport setting may cause heightened anxieties.
LCA director of corporate affairs Liam McKay said: "We recognise that flying can, at times, create stresses and anxieties, particularly if passengers are unfamiliar with airport processes.
"Similarly, our terminal-based staff, such as security teams, face their own pressures to keep everyone safe and secure."
Following the success of this week's trial, the airport plans to host another visit from The Cuddle Club in future.