Employees at Allstate NI have welcomed Lexi, a therapy dog from Assistance Dogs Northern Ireland (ADNI), to take up residence at their Belfast office.
Lexi the Labrador is the latest addition to the growing Allstate NI team of over 2,300 technologists and will spend time at the May’s Meadow Belfast office for several days throughout the summer.
It’s a partnership between ADNI and Allstate, one of Northern Ireland’s largest employers, that allows staff to spend time with Lexi in their new collaborative working space.
Lexi will work with the Allstate NI Ausome committee, which raises awareness of autism in the workplace, and the Allcare network which supports employees who are caregivers outside of work, amongst other colleagues.
ADNI trains therapy dogs, disability assistance dogs, autism companion dogs and autism anchor dogs.
The initiative comes as animal assisted therapy gains traction in many settings. The therapy can reduce anxiety, increase self-esteem and self-confidence, improve social connections, and increase focus and attention.
Director at Allstate NI Suzi Murtagh said:
“It is a pleasure to welcome Lexi from Assistance Dogs NI to the Allstate team. Animal assisted therapy is well known for helping to relax individuals, improve socialisation, and reduce stress or anxiety. We take employee mental health and wellbeing seriously at Allstate NI and understand that everyone can do with a little downtime every now and again. It is fantastic to have Lexi join us, and we have no doubt he will receive a warm welcome from our team.”
Chief Executive of Assistance Dogs NI Geraldine McGaughey said:
“We train dogs to transform lives. We operate our animal assisted therapy programme in many areas of society, including in schools, hospices, and the courts service in Northern Ireland to support both children and adults with disabilities. We are thrilled that the team at Allstate NI have decided to adopt this practice and look forward to seeing the fun Lexi brings to the team.”