Farmyard animals visit veterans at military care home

Residents at The Royal Star & Garter Home in Surbiton have been visited by an array of farmyard animals.

Around 25 pigs, goats, donkeys, geese, ducks and chicks were special guests at the Home, which cares for ex-Servicemen, women and their partners living with disability or dementia, on 26 July.

They came from Miller’s Ark Animals, and spent two hours at the Home. Residents held and stroked the animals while chatting to staff from the farm.

Research shows stroking animals can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and increase social interaction and physical activity. It has also been shown to help battle depression and loneliness.

The visit was arranged by Raquel Pena Aristizabal, the Activities & Volunteer Manager at the Upper Brighton Road Home, and was one of the 50 activities arranged for residents each week. She said:

“Animals have a special effect on residents. In the past we’ve even had a miniature donkey in the home! Pets As Therapy dogs often visit too, and we all loved having the adorable farmyard animals with us on the day. The residents absolutely loved it.”

For further information please contact:

Goolistan Cooper
Communications Officer
t: 0208 481 7669 / 07391 868796

Cally Madden
Marketing & Communications Manager
t: 020 8481 7692 / 07881 017299

About The Royal Star & Garter Homes:

The Charity provides award-winning care for military veterans and their partners who live with disability or dementia.

The Royal Star & Garter Homes is a charity founded in 1916 to care for the severely injured men returning from the battlegrounds of the First World War.

Today our friendly, state-of-the-art Homes offer a pioneering approach to nursing, dementia and therapeutic care. We have award-winning Homes in Solihull, West Midlands and Surbiton, Surrey. Our third Home in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, opened in April 2019.

We continue to expand our services to reach even more veterans. In 2018, we were able to support 186 residents in our Homes and 36 guests at our Day Care service. We also offer interim care for young disabled Service personnel. We provided 11,700 individual sessions of physiotherapy and speech & language therapy last year to support our residents’ health, and over 5,600 places to residents for activities, outings and events, to promote well-being.

We are proud to have enjoyed Royal patronage since our foundation, including that of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II from 1953 to the present day.

Twitter: @starandgarter

The Royal Star & Garter Homes is a member of the National Care Forum – the leading voice for not-for-profit care providers. A national perspective may be available from or by contacting 02476243619. More details on NCF available at

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