Colburn centre day care centre welcomes four-legged staff member

Able staff and service users with Milo, left, and Maisie.

Milo the lurcher has joined the staff at a Colburn day care centre which is currently expanding to offer more services to more people.

The ABLE Centre in Colburn provides an opportunity for people with learning or physical disabilities, mental health issues or dementia, to engage in meaningful activities.

The centre has recently welcomed its newest member of staff, Milo the rescue lurcher.

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Milo is receiving his induction from Maisie, another lurcher who has been trained as a Pets as Therapy Dog.

The dogs bring support and comfort to the adults who attend the day centre. Maisie, and Milo when he completes his PAT dog training, also visit people in the community.

Lynn Tomkinson, manager of Broadacres-run ABLE Centre, said: “People who attend the day centre love having Maisie around and they like it even more now they have two dogs to make a fuss of.

“Maisie and Milo love being cuddled and stroked; in fact, they get just as much out of it as the adults do.

“But they also bring a great deal of pleasure to people in other settings, such as sheltered housing schemes, extra care schemes and care homes.”

The ABLE Centre (ABLE stands for Activity Based Learning Environment) recently launched its own, standalone website –

The centre, which is based at 3 Bailey Court on the Colburn Business Park, is open to all adults, including those with learning/ physical disabilities, acquired brain injury, mental health issues, dementia and autism.

There is no upper age limit and people come from across North Yorkshire and Teesside to use the service.

The people who attend the centre spend the day taking part in a range of planned activities tailored to their individual, and often complex, needs.

ABLE also offers one-to-one community support, including respite care, dementia awareness training and the PAT dogs.

Lynn said the centre was expanding all the time with greater services offered and more people attending.

She added: “It is because of the range of services the ABLE Day Centre offers that we felt it deserved its own website.

“The site has information about the service, including pictures of the activities we undertake and testimonials from professionals, volunteers and students who have come into contact with the Centre.”