Assisted Animal Therapy Comes to Allstate

Published: July 28, 2022

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 Retriever 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. Staff can spend time with Lexi in the new collaborative working space.

ANI employee with therapy dog Lexi.

Lexi will work with Allstate NI's 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.

Animal assisted therapy is gaining traction in many settings. It can reduce anxiety, increase self-esteem and self-confidence, improve social connections, and increase focus and attention.

ANI employee with therapy dog Lexi.
ANI employee with therapy dog Lexi.
Suzi Murtagh, Director at Allstate NI, said: "It is a pleasure to welcome Lexi from Assistance Dogs NI to the Allstate team. We know our employees will benefit from the experience. 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."
Geraldine McGaughey, Chief Executive at Assistance Dogs NI, 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."