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Posted on Jun 4 2024 by Fiona Bailey

A man who runs a successful business across Northampton insists he prioritised his “volunteering commitments” despite his company having started to boom.

Tom Green, who set up Square Feet in 2019, has been volunteering at the complex mental health charity St Andrew’s Healthcare for five years.

Speaking out during National Volunteers Week, which starts on Monday, June 3, Tom visits the hospital every fortnight where he takes his dog Dexter to see the patients.

Tom said: “I signed up as part of the Pets as Therapy (PAT) Dog Service and I take Dexter to visit different wards and honestly, doing this work has been a real eye opener. I knew dogs and humans had a special connection, but I never would have thought that our family dog could bring so much joy and happiness to the people we visit.

“People’s faces light up when we enter the room and the patients cannot get enough of Dexter, I can really see the value in volunteering, particularly at St Andrew’s. Once I had started coming, I began to look into the benefits of PAT Dog Therapy and the research and health outcomes are quite staggering. It’s made me realise how important the role of volunteering within our local community really is.”

Square Feet is a company that owns a series of period properties across the town centre that have been beautifully renovated, providing clients with premium facilities who require office or meeting space. Since inception of the business, Tom has seen it steadily grow and now he has started to expand his offerings.

He added: “We have just opened another site in Northampton, which brings the total number of buildings we provide to six. I’m very proud to say that we’ve taken over one of the town’s oldest buildings and we’re now operating some very premium office space. But, we’re so much more than that – we provide a real sense of community.

“However, no matter how busy I get, I have learnt it’s important to have a good mix of business and pleasure, which is why I make sure I prioritise my volunteering at St Andrew’s because I honestly think my role there gives me an enormous sense of wellbeing and pride.”

St Andrew’s Healthcare CEO Dr Vivienne McVey said: “Volunteers make a huge contribution to the well-being and recovery of our patients. Our volunteers provide a vital service which enhances what our staff are doing. Ultimately, we’re all working together to give our patients hope for the future and help them through their recovery journey.

“I have seen Tom around the charity with Dexter and it’s a joy to see how our patients respond to our furry friends. Animals can play such an important part to our wellbeing and I’m really pleased that Tom enjoys working with us to help our patients.”

For those who would like to find out more about volunteering at St Andrew’s Healthcare, click here.