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Puppy Scheme Battles Exam Stress and Raises Over £1k for Charity

22 May 2015
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UK - A team of puppies made their way to the University of Bristol this week to help students cope with exam stress. As well as aiding relaxation, the scheme raised £1,300 for Guide Dogs.

Unsurprisingly more than 600 students signed up for the 'puppy room', an innovative approach taken by the university this year.

A group of 21 working guide dogs and puppies were enlisted for cuddling duties to distract the students from their looming deadlines and exams.

Only a limited number of people were allowed in the room at a time, in slots of 15 minutes, to ensure the puppies did not get agitated.

The popular scheme was brought about by Gordon Trevett from the university's Centre for Sport, Exercise and Health.

"It was fantastic to see so many happy and relaxed students," he commented. "People with dogs have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without a dog and we know that playing with a dog can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.

"There certainly was a lot of love for the dogs and the whole day was a great success. We’re grateful to Guide Dogs for their support and pleased to have raised so much money for their work."

Guide Dogs' community fundraiser Sarah Knox said the charity was "really overwhelmed" by the response from the students and the scheme had helped the puppies get used to interacting with groups of people.

"A huge thanks must go to the students for their generous donations and to our volunteers who gave up their time to create this wonderful experience," she added.

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