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The Presentation and Awards Luncheon took place on Sunday 20th November 2016 at the Kaim Park Hotel, Bathgate.

Awards were made to individuals in the following catogaries: -

Picture Above; L to R ~

Patron Rosemary Long, Therapet Volunteer Linda Whitby with Megan and Mark Oszczypala from Burns Pet Nutrition Ltd

(Dog Food kindly donated by; Burns Pet Nutrition Ltd)

Spencer Award for Therapet of The Year

This award was donated by Tom and Dorothy Wilkins, whose Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, SPENCER, was the very first dog to be registered in the Therapet scheme, way back in 1988.  


This year 14 nominations were received in respect of Therapets all of whom do magnificent work and of whom their owners can be justifiably proud.  All nominated Therapets receive a certificate of nomination and a special rosette.

The WINNER of THERAPET OF THE YEAR FOR 2016 is Greyhound “MEGAN” very proudly owned by Linda Whitby of Irvine, Ayrshire.  Megan was registered as a Therapet in 2010


Megan was nominated by Therapet Volunteer Christine Scott of Irvine and by Area Representative for Ayrshire Shona Morris.


  • In her nomination Christine Scott said;


“Along with Linda & Megan my Golden Retriever, Storm, and I have visited Ayrshire Central Hospital. Moorpark House in Kilbirnie which is for adults with various forms of autism, also accompanied them to may talks by Linda to groups such as Age Concern, Alzheimers and various women’s group.  


“Through listening to Linda’s talk I have learned that she and Megan also visit some care homes in Irvine, a school on Cumbrae to help children with reading difficulties in the Reading with Dogs programme and also they help people who are scared of dogs.


“Megan is a 10 year old rescue Greyhound and I was always under the impression that retired Greyhounds lazed about on a sofa all day – well Megan seems to be the exception to the rule as she seems to be on the go all the time with her Therapet activities.  Whenever I have been at a Therapet visit or talk, Megan has always been so laid back and relaxed and this has made many, many people happy and brightened up their day.


“Linda seems to have boundless energy when it comes to volunteering her service for Therapet and as a Therapet volunteer myself I thank that she and Megan are very deserving of this prestigious award.”


  • Shona Morris wrote:


“I have had the pleasure of meeting Megan when visiting my own place of work, Cumbrae Primary School.  I teach there and Linda and Megan have begun a Reading with Dogs project with us.  Megan has a very calm disposition but is also friendly with adults and children.


“They have visited a wide range of establishment – care homes, schools, hospitals, sheltered housing, private homes and colleges.  They have done work with phobic patients, participated in Paws Against Stress sessions and with people with mental health issues and other disabilities.


“I have no hesitation in recommending Megan as Therapet of the Year.”


The following comments were received in support of Megan’s nomination:


  • Yvonne Gribbon, Head Teacher at Haysholm School, Irvine wrote:


“Linda and Megan are regular visitors to Haysholm School which caters for 25 children and young people, 5 – 18, who have severe and complex Additional Support Needs.


“A large number of our pupils are diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum disorder.  When Linda visits with Megan they visit all classes where Megan will stand very quietly to be looked at and/or petted and stroked. Megan is very good at her “job”, she is calm and gentle with the children.  This is very important for the children and young people who are in Autism Spectrum.  Many are frightened from dogs and other pets because they seem unpredictable to them.  However, Megan, because of her calm and gentle nature, helps to desensitise some of those children.


“Our children also have a range of sensory needs and find stroking soft furry material pleasurable and calming.  Both Linda and Megan are very responsive to the children that they visit in classes.  The level of input is tailored to the needs of each individual and children are neither rushed nor made to pat Megan.  We feel that the input of Therapet is highly beneficial and we are grateful to receive the service.”


  • The patients and Staff at the Day Hospital, Ayrshire Central Hospital wrote:


“Megan our gorgeous greyhound is the golden girl of the Pet Therapy Service.  She has been a loyal visitor to the Day Hospital over the past few years with both staff and patients looking forward to her weekly visit.  Megan has a gentle manner, calming personality and the silkiest of coats it’s no wonder our patients love when she visits.  Her guilty pleasure is the odd doggy biscuit or two and who could say no to those big brown eyes.  Her picture hangs pride of place on our notice board for everyone to see.


“Our gorgeous girl is now getting on in years and deserves the recognition for all her hard work.”


  • Linda Young, Activities Co-Ordinator at South Beach House Older Persons Residential Unit which has 34 residents 80% of whom have Dementia.


“Megan our Therapet Dog along with Linda Whitby visit the residents every four weeks on a Friday afternoon.  When Megan arrives and enters the main lounge there is an audible excitable chatter and buzz.  Lots of residents wanting Megan to start with them first!  But Linda takes time to show Megan round the room individually going to all residents.  Megan is patient and gentle as residents stroke and talk to her.  The smiles of delight show on all residents’ faces.  It completely lifts their spirits.  Residents who don’t move very much will make an amazing effort to stretch out and stroke Megan.  Residents who normally find talking difficult due to advance dementia will make happy noises of approval to Megan.


Megan also visits residents who are bedridden due to illness.  This is really uplifting to them in many ways – it is very therapeutic for them, there is opportunity for conversation with Linda who always finds a subject to talk about and it aids their spirits if they suffer from depression that can set in if residents are in their rooms for long periods.


It has to be noted that conversation continues after Megan and Linda depart.  The residents chat about Megan and about their own dogs.  At 4pm there is a shift change and the residents can’t wait to tell the staff who was visiting them today, but by dinner most of them will have forgotten the visit but that doesn’t matter at all.  It is only important that they are happy at the time and it is of no concern that their memory eludes them.  This can’t be fixed and after all it will only be another four weeks until Megan returns and excitement happens all over again.

Picture Above; L to R ~

Patron Rosemary Long, Area Representative Maureen Thomson and Mark Oszczypala from Burns Pet Nutrition Ltd 

(Dog Food kindly donated by; Burns Pet Nutrition Ltd)

Therapet Organiser
of The year

This award was donated in memory of a very special gentleman and his very special dog – Dr Morris Andrew and Daniel the Spaniel!!   It was made by members of his family who agreed that it should go to the Therapet Organiser of the Year since Morris himself, as well as being a Trustee, represented Edinburgh for many years.


The winner this year was Area Representative for the Moray, Maureen Thomson.


Maureen joined as a Therapet volunteer in 1997 with her beloved Irish Setter/Labrador Cross Holly and was invited to become the Area Representative in March 2002 since when she has nurtured a long line of volunteers and their Therapets.    She organises her volunteers brilliantly and gives them all the support they need and has the knack of persuading them to become involved in events.  She keeps the office well informed about everything that goes on in her area.


Whilst there are no universities in her area Paws Against Stress events have been held with great success in Elgin High School and Reading with Dogs has commenced on Aberlour High School.


Maureen and some of her team recently did a bag packing session at their local ASDA and received £230 in donations from the shoppers they assisted. Maureen is always willing to lend a helping hand.  For instance she always supports neighbouring Area Rep Vivien Moen with her PR work at the Figgat Fare each year.

We greatly appreciate everything that Maureen has done and is doing, and she is a very worthy winner of the Therapet Organiser of the Year Award 2016.


L to R ~ Area Representative Maureen Thomson Winner of Therapet Organiser of the Year and Area Representative Vivien Moen Winner of the Ki-Chu-Asha Stars of Hope Memorial Trophy

Ki-Chu-Asha Stars of Hope

Memorial Trophy


The Ki-Chu-Asha Stars of Hope Memorial Trophy, which was donated by Jean Llamo is for the organiser whose walk raised the most money. This year it has been won, yet again, by our very hard working Area Representative for Badenoch & Strathspey, Vivien Moen.   Her walk this year has raised £772

L to R ~ Patron Rosemary Long, Therapet Volunteer Irene Taylor & China and Mark Oszczypala from Burns Pet Nutrition Ltd 

(Dog Food kindly donated by; Burns Pet Nutrition Ltd)

20 year Service Awards 

A few years ago the Trustees introduced the 20 year service awards for members who had given 20 or more years of active participation in the Trust’s work. 

This year two members qualified:-


Anne Macdonald of Barrhead, Glasgow, who commenced Therapet visiting in 1996 with Springer Spaniel “Eilidh” and another Springer Spaniel called Poppy took over in 2005.  “Eilidh” was Therapet of the Year in 2001 and the Trust awarded Anne with the Iain Whyte award in 2012 in recognition of her Therapet work within NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. 

Irene Taylor, of Lunan Bay, Angus also commenced Therapet visiting in 1996 with Golden Retriever Sam.   “Sam” died in 2006 but new Golden Retriever “China” was registered as a Therapet in 2007 and has been visiting regularly ever since.

Picture Above; L to R ~

Patron Rosemary Long, Trustee Douglas Ruthven and

Mark Oszczypala from Burns Pet Nutrition Ltd 

(Dog Food kindly donated by; Burns Pet Nutrition Ltd)


Iain Whyte Memorial Award



This award was donated by Betty Lawson-Whyte in memory of her first husband who was a great admirer of the work carried out by Canine Concern Scotland Trust.  The award is made to a person or organisation whose work has been of special benefit to the Trust over the past year or over a period of years.  Over the years some very special people and organisations have been given the award.


The winner this year was Douglas Ruthven in recognition of his work as Area Representative for Edinburgh & the Lothians from 2000 to 2016


Douglas had previously received this award in 2009 in recognition of his overall work for the Trust but it felt that to award it to him again this year on his retirement from his Area Representative role would be the most fitting “Thank You”.


Douglas first became a member of Canine Concern Scotland Trust in 1998 and became a volunteer under the Trust’s Therapet Service   Since then Douglas and his beloved Border Collies (initially Cassie, then Holly and now Keira) have been regular visitors to long stay patients and residents in a number of hospitals and care and nursing homes in Edinburgh. 


In 2000 Douglas willingly took on the voluntary role of Area Representative for Edinburgh and the Lothians.  This involved him carrying out assessments of potential Therapets and the placement of them and their volunteer owners in hospitals, care and nursing homes.  These tasks in themselves take up a considerable amount of time but in addition Douglas carried out promotional work for the Trust and regularly gave talks to groups interested in learning about the Therapet Service.  Douglas was responsible for successful negotiations with NHS Lothian which led to a formal agreement for the supply of Therapet Volunteers to all relevant hospitals and care homes within NHS Lothian.  This agreement proved to be the blueprint for agreements with other NHS Trusts in Scotland.


In 2008 Douglas accepted an invitation to join the Trust’s Board of Trustees and he brought to it wealth of experience from his professional life as well as firsthand knowledge of the Therapet Service.


Douglas has been at the forefront of the Trust’s work assisting psychologists with patients, mainly children, who have phobias about dogs.


In 2012, in conjunction with the Student Counselling Service at the University of Edinburgh, Douglas developed the “Paws Against Stress” service whereby teams of Therapet Volunteers take their Therapets to sessions with students particularly during examination periods to provide relaxation.  The service has proved to be so successful that the Trust now provides it in other universities in Edinburgh and in universities in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Paisley, St Andrews, Stirling and others.  In 2015 over 5,000 students benefitted from the service.


During his 16 years as Area Representative Douglas made significant, and positive, differences to the lives of so many people ranging from children in hospitals and schools, students, people in care and nursing homes and indeed to the team of Therapet Volunteers that he managed so successfully and sensitively.


His dedication to his role was considerable and his success was demonstrated by the ever increasing workload and earlier this year he decided, quite understandably, that the time had come for him to pass the reins to others and to start enjoying his retirement.  We now have a great team in Edinburgh and the Lothians which is doing what Douglas had been doing single handled for many years. 


The Trust is delighted that Douglas is remaining a Trustee and an active Therapet volunteer.

The inscription reads:

Miss Matty Award 

The Miss Matty Award, which is for the top individual fund raiser at sponsored walks, was won by Scott Cairns of Glasgow who raised £715 for the Trust by spending five days walking the West Highland Way.

Chairman of Trustees George Leslie and Patron Rosemary Long 

L to R ~ Patron Rosemary Long with Therapet volunteers  

Elspeth Jenkins with Scruffy,  Anne Marie Campbell with Dylan and

Mark Oszczypala from Burns Pet Nutrition Ltd 

(Dog Food kindly donated by; Burns Pet Nutrition Ltd)

 "All photos courtesy of Barking Cat Pet Photography"

     VISIT Barking Cat Pet Photography  website >>>   

copyright rests with the photographer

 L to R ~ Trustee Norma Murray, Patron Rosemary Long with Therapet volunteers present on the day Dawn Clough and David Neill & Thai and

Mark Oszczypala from Burns Pet Nutrition Ltd 

(Dog Food kindly donated by; Burns Pet Nutrition Ltd)

Spencer Award for Therapet of The Year
"Runners Up"

The SECOND RUNNER-UP was “Breagh” a Golden Retriever owned by Diane Wood of Oldmeldrum in Aberdeenshire. Breagh was registered in 2011. She does wonderful work at an adult learning centre, she is actively involved in the Reading with Dogs programme at Kemnay Academy with remarkable results, she regularly works with Clinical Child Psychologists in Aberdeen with severely dog phobic children again with dramatically good outcomes, she accompanies Diane when she gives talks to various Rotary Clubs, WRI, Woman’s Guilds, and Brownie Groups, and is also taking part in Paws Against Stress sessions at Scotland Rural College Aberdeen Campus.  Breagh also goes with Diane to nursing homes prior to Therapets being placed in them.

The RUNNERS-UP for Therapet of the Year, were the very special team of “DYLAN”, a Cocker Spaniel owned by Anne-Marie Campbell, and “SCRUFFY”, a Crossbreed owned by Elspeth Jenkins both of Stirlingshire.  They were nominated by Sacha Oats of Bannockburn Primary School and by Trustee and Area Representative Lynsey Thomson.


  • In her nomination Sacha wrote:-


“The role that Dylan and Scruffy have played in our school’s recent ‘Reading for Enjoyment’ attainment project cannot be underestimated.  At Bannockburn Primary school we are continually striving to find creative and innovative ways to raise attainment and improve the well-being of our learners and this project has captured the minds and hearts of many within our school community and beyond.


“Dylan and Scruffy have been the perfect candidates for the first ever ‘Reading with Dogs’ project that has been rolled out within a Scottish School.  Their calm, friendly and affectionate natures have fostered the development of extremely close bonds between learner and dog, and their patience and excellent listening skills have allowed children to successfully develop their reading confidence within a relaxing environment, free of judgement and correction. Over the past 9 months, both dogs have become an important part of our school community and are well known and loved by many of our staff and learners. 


“None of this innovative work would be possible without the help and support of Dylan and Scruffy’s owners.  I would like to send my sincere thanks for their commitment, patience, understanding and support through the whole process.  We are very excited as a staff to see what lies in store for us in the future, as we plan for future ‘Reading with Dogs’ sessions.”


  • Lynsey wrote:-


“Anne-Marie has volunteered since 2010 and Dylan has been a Therapet since 2012.  Elspeth and Scruffy have been Therapet volunteers since 2014.  Both sets of volunteers have visited care homes regularly and have also taking part in a number of Paws Against Stress events at Stirling University and Forth Valley Collage. 


“There is no denying that Dylan and Scruffy are both excellent Therapets but it is what they does out-with their regular visits that makes them special. 


“In January 2016 they took part in the first ever Reading With Dogs programme with CCST.  Both Dylan and Scruffy accepted the challenge of being the 1st dogs involved and their impeccable behaviour gave the project the profile it deserved.  They appear on the rear cover of the CCST “Reading With Dogs” leaflet and feature in a video about the project that appeared on the Stirling Council Website.  Their work has assisted in articles being written that have raised the profile of this new service.  


“Anne-Marie and Dylan and Elspeth and Scruffy are also on hand to help me out at local events and Open Days – always with a smile and a wagging tail. 


“There are many wonderful Therapets within my area and indeed throughout Scotland but I feel that Dylan and Scruffy, along with Anne-Marie and Elspeth go above and beyond to support and promote the work of the Canine Concern Scotland Trust and especially the Reading With Dogs programme and it is for that that I would like to nominate them for The Spencer Award for Therapet of the Year.”


Other Therapet’s nominated who did not quite make it into the first three places are each presented with a certificate of nomination and a special rosette. 

   “Bob”  Dawn Clough’s Labrador from the Borders

“Coire” Tom Lawson’s Border Terrier from the Borders

“Harvey” Derek Muir’s Boxer from Edinburgh

“Kyla” Hilda Stephenson’s Irish Setter from Fife

“Lucy & Cree”  Kay Matthew’s American Cocker Spaniels from Tayside

“Noodle” Amy McKenzie’s Beagle from Aberdeen

“Sandy” Jane Jones’ Greyhound from Edinburgh

“Scooby” Barbara MacLure’s Jack Russell/Patterdale Terrier from Glasgow

“Shadow” Bryan Robertson’s Saluki/Lurcher from Stirlingshire

“Thai” David Neill’s Tibetan Terrier from Aberdeen

“Wilson” Laura Budge’s Australian Labradoodle from Edinburgh

 "All photos courtesy of Barking Cat Pet Photography"

   VISIT Barking Cat Pet Photography  website >>>

copyright rests with the photographer

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