A mental health charity has teamed up with a north-east birds of prey centre to reap the benefits of animal therapy.
Mental Health Aberdeen (MHA) announced the link with The Owl and The Pussycat Centre yesterday following a visit to the site in the Buchan village of Maud.
Visitors to the centre are given the chance to bond with birds of prey, including two owls which starred in the Harry Potter blockbuster films.
Service users from MHA’s companions befriending scheme said they had a “magical time” during their visit, which was part of a wider initiative to held build friendships.
Flora Tood, manager of MHA’s companion service, is now looking for more volunteers to take on a befriending role with the charity.
“Our service users and their companions thoroughly enjoyed themselves at The Owl and The Pussycat Centre, and we would like to thank everyone there for making us so welcome,” she said.
“We would love to repeat visits like this as they are so beneficial in helping our service users combat feelings of isolation and embrace day-to-day life.
“Interaction with animals and birds is a great tool for improving a person’s well being.”
MHA is seeking volunteers aged 18 and over to join the befrienders group in Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Banff, Turriff and the surrounding rural areas.
The charity spokeswoman described it as a “fantastically rewarding role” which can make a real difference to someone’s life with such simple activities as meeting for coffee or taking exercise classes.
Full training is provided to all volunteers, out of pocket expenses are reimbursed and an induction training course will begin in February.