Summer shelter: Dogs Trust Shoreham creates wellness garden for staff

Cool, calming spaces have been created at Dogs Trust Shoreham to give staff and volunteers a place to relax with the dogs in hot weather.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 8:59 am

The wellness garden project has been led by Ryan Hawkins, maintenance operative, with the aim of building a relaxing spot with shelter from the sun, where staff can spend time with the dogs and even do a bit of gardening, if they wish.

Adel Burnett, rehoming centre manager, said: “The last year has proven to us all how important our mental health and wellbeing are, so we decided that we’d all work together to create more spaces where staff and our dogs can chill out and take a few moments together.”

The team is already growing tomatoes, sweetcorn, pumpkin and courgettes, all plants that have been donated, and is now in the process of putting together a herb garden to give the dogs some sensory stimulation.

Ryan Hawkins with 13-year-old lurcher Banjo, who is waiting at Dogs Trust Shoreham for his forever home

Ryan, who has worked at Dogs Trust Shoreham since 2019, said: “We have 40 acres of green land on site, which is incredible, but we wanted to create a dedicated space where staff and our dogs can take a breather and just enjoy some relaxation in a quiet space.

“It is definitely still a work in progress but as well as the vegetables we currently have lavender and parsley, which the dogs love to sniff, and in the coming weeks we will plant more herbs, as well as see the fruits of our labour so to speak in terms of the vegetables we are growing.”

Ryan has been working with Phil Green, volunteer gardener and grounds assistant, to build more shelters so there is plenty of shade for the dogs in the summer, and protection from winter weather.

Adel added: “Thanks to the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, whose support helps to fund our maintenance operative post, and thanks to our volunteer Phil, we’ve made great progress and will have time to enjoy the benefits in the weeks and months to come.”

Ryan Hawkins and volunteer Phil Green creating shelters where staff and dogs can relax in the shade

For information on the dogs being cared for at Dogs Trust Shoreham, visit