PAT Stories

Roger Hammett & Kimmy

“Kimmy changes people’s lives, be it stroke patients learning to speak again, or offenders with anger management issues looking forward to seeing her and having a long cuddle. I derive so much pleasure from those moments.”

Kimmy, a five-year-old English black Labrador, belongs to Voluntary Area Co-ordinator Roger Hammett. The pair have been a visiting PAT Team for nearly three years. Originally bred at the Guide Dogs UK centre in Leamington Spa, Roger says that Kimmy brings a sense of calm to everyone she meets.

“Kimmy is a gentle dog with the calmest temperament I have ever witnessed,” he smiles. “She essentially is timid, having failed as a Guide Dog because of phobia of hand dryers in public toilets, but she loves people of all ages. Perhaps surprisingly, Kimmy copes brilliantly in challenging situations such as hospital wards with their strange noises and smells. She’s also great at the secure units we visit, even when inmates behave unpredictably. Her ability to make people calm is a gift.”

Making a difference
The PAT Team spend time with patients in the stroke, older people and intestinal failure wards at University Hospital Southampton, and also visit the Doctors’ Mess there, where the friendly dog brings comfort to hard-working staff. Additionally, they visit two secure mental health units near Totton, Hampshire, working closely with Occupational Therapists. “Kimmy enjoys being stroked, fed treats, groomed and played with, or she’ll happily just sit down and watch the world go by.”

The joy of volunteering
Roger says he was keen not to waste the extensive Guide Dog training that Kimmy had received. “I was on a dog walk and had a chance encounter with a stranger who informed me about Pets As Therapy, a charity I’d never heard of,” he recalls. “But becoming a volunteer is one of the best decisions I have ever made. As well as being good for Kimmy, it’s good for me as a retirement activity, and I am contributing as much as possible to PAT by being a Voluntary Area Co-ordinator. I especially enjoy specialising in mainstream and secure hospital visits as I see it as payback to the NHS for all the treatment that I personally have received from the NHS over the years.”

He claims that his love of PAT work goes well beyond enjoying people saying lovely things about my dog. “Kimmy changes people’s lives, be it stroke patients learning to speak again by talking to her, or offenders with anger management issues looking forward to seeing her each week so they can have a long cuddle. I derive so much pleasure from those moments.”


We are always looking to recruit more volunteers.

You can find more info here

Follow us on social media:

Back to Listing

Other recent stories

25 June 2024

Jo Kaddish & Meg

A little cockerpoo is a big hit with patients and staff at a hospital in West Sussex, and she has lots of fans at a nearby hospice too.

8 May 2024

Tim Robinson & Betsy

Residents at a South East London care home have fallen in love with a gentle cocker spaniel, who visits with her owner Tim.

16 April 2024

Gerry Ochojna & Reika

PAT Dog Reika has young fans at three schools in the Scottish Highlands and is helping them to forget their worries.

12 March 2024

Isabel Serafim & Mr London

Isabel's PAT Cat loves meeting patients and health professionals at a London hospital.

28 February 2024

Johanne Picken & Ness

PAT Dog Ness, a retired racing greyhound, works her animal magic on residents at a care home in Johnstone, Renfrewshire.

5 December 2023

Chris Roberts & Jimmy

Jimmy the greyhound is not the only PAT Dog at HMP YOI Parc – Gus and Doug spend time with prisoners too.

7 November 2023

Josie Hughes & Benjen

PAT Cat Benjen, a Maine Coon, is a big hit with the young people he meets at two CAMHS units in Northampton

25 October 2023

Sue Beeson & Boo

Pupils at a Kidderminster primary school love their visits from Boo — and Sue says volunteering helps her deal with dementia too.

6 September 2023

Roger Hammett & Kimmy

Roger and Kimmy visit University Hospital Southampton and also two secure mental health units for adult offenders.

9 August 2023

Maggie Fogarty & Bonnie

Maggie and nine-year-old Bonnie visit a care home in a scenic spot in Cornwall – and everyone loves the special Cockapoo.

18 July 2023

Rachel Williamson & Mona

A PAT Volunteer from Rothwell and her affectionate Staffordshire Bull terrier are regular visitors to a local primary school.

7 June 2023

Hannah Colbourn & Olive & Benji

A PAT Volunteer, who has owned four PAT Dogs, Hannah shares her story and pays tribute to Todd.

2 May 2023

Nick Belson & Ghillie

Nick and his dog Ghillie spread cheer among care home residents, who treasure their regular visits.

4 April 2023

Martin Rodker & Winnie

Martin and Winnie visit a residential care home near Luton, where one lady has written a poem about the special PAT Dog.

29 March 2023

Libby Bowles & Pip

Libby and her PAT Dog Pip enjoy making friends at school – when Pip isn't off having adventures and appearing on TV!

8 March 2023

Julia Saunders & Chilli, Bean & Ronnie

Julia takes one dog to a school, the other to a care home, and a third has passed its assessment.

21 February 2023

Keith Poultney & Bella

Keith and his black Labrador Bella are bringing joy to Ukrainian families who are currently living in the UK.

8 February 2023

Andy Price & Lola

Andy and his PAT Dog Lola are regular visitors to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, cheering up patients on the wards.

29 January 2023

Rachael Sones & Arlo

Rachael is an Assistant Voluntary Area Co-ordinator. Along with her dog Arlo, they make weekly visits to a school in Hampshire.