Alder Hey’s very-own therapy dog has earned herself a well-deserved promotion after four years of important service.
Holly the therapy dog – a five-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever – first began going to the Liverpool-based children’s hospital to provide “an incredible voluntary service” all the way back in 2017, and would pay visits a couple of times a week so give lots of love and cuddles to all the kids during their stay.
Holly visits the hospital with her owner Barry – a registered Therapy Dog Handler – who describes her as “an equal opportunity cuddle pot”.
She helps all the young patients “relax and feel less anxious”.
Just by visiting and through her presence on the wards at the hospital, Holly is able to bring a sense of joy and important distraction at difficult times for the children and their families – and of course, “all the staff love her too”.
But now, after four years of incredible service, Holly has been promoted from the hospital’s resident therapy dog, to the new ‘Cuddle Manager’.
Sharing the brilliant news of Holly’s promotion, Alder Hey wrote on its social media platforms this week: “Our gorgeous Holly has been promoted to ‘Cuddle Manager’.
“As well as providing cuddles, comfort and lots of love at Alder Hey for many years, Holly also sometimes helps in providing distraction techniques when children and young people are undergoing invasive procedures.
“She also works with physios and play specialists to get children and young people moving after surgery.
“We think Holly very much deserves this promotion.”
Explaining a little more about Holly’s responsibilities, Alder Hey said back in 2018: “Holly is a friendly face to patients who are here with us for extended periods of time and may be missing their own pets at home, and is particularly useful for autistic children who often bond with and relate better to therapy animals than humans.
“Holly also works with young people with cynophobia (a debilitating fear of dogs) through Alder Hey’s CAMHS team, and is proud to have a 100% success rate.”
“The best thing about bringing Holly to Alder Hey is the look on people’s faces,” Holly’s owner Brian admits.
“There was a little girl in a wheelchair in the Atrium who became very excited and animated when she saw Holly. The little girl couldn’t easily hug Holly, so Holly came to her – sitting with her on the seat of her wheelchair, Holly rested her head on her shoulder so that the little one could have a cuddle.
“I can tell you, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.”
We have to agree – there certainly could not be a more important promotion.
Wrexham AFC announce Manchester United friendly with hilarious Sir Alex Ferguson video
Manchester United confirmed that they would be playing Wrexham AFC as part of their US tour on Tuesday, but the Welsh club’s Hollywood owners had a much better way of announcing the pre-season friendly.
While the Red Devils put out a simple statement revealing that one of their games would come against the resurgent Red Dragons, Wrexham‘s celebrity owners in Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney once again decided to put their acting to good use and inform their own fans of the upcoming match.
So, what’s the best way for a National League club to announce a massive fixture with one of the biggest sporting franchises in the world? Well, ideal scenario: getting a United legend and perhaps the greatest football manager of all time to help you do it would have quite the impact. Surely not?…
Yes, somehow, Rob and Ryan managed to convince Sir Alex Ferguson to be in the video and while they’re the ones known for their funny bones, it’s the gaffer who shines as the star of the show.
So good. We almost thought we were staring at a still image at one point and the gag was going to be along the lines of him not even being there while they wonder, ‘is he frozen’?, but the punchline was the perfect level of dry for Scotsman who is literally known for his infamous ‘hairdryer’.
Now, we’ve seen plenty of parodies and funny videos since the acting, writing and comedy-producing duo first bought the club back in November 2020, but I think it’s fair to say we never expected to see Sir Alex in a sketch.
Obviously, we’ve seen countless commercial ads involving United down the year working — including that time the players met Deadpool himself (remember that?) — but we can’t remember the legendary coach ever getting involved with these kinds of shenanigans before.
Suppose retirement has given him the free time to focus on the things he enjoys: i.e. more United.
As detailed in the video and United’s tour teaser at the start of the week, the two teams will be playing in a pre-season friendly at the Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego on July 25 later this year.
Not only will there be plenty of American Reds piling through the doors this summer, but there’s also sure to be a fair few transatlantic Wrexham supporters too, as the story of the club’s takeover has captured the attention of millions, especially after their hugely popular documentary series.
To make things even cooler, it isn’t the only connection between the Devils and the Dragons we’ve seen of late either, as former United keeper and Premier League veteran Ben Foster came out of retirement to sign for Wrexham 18 years on from his previous loan spell. What a coup
Reynolds even popped up in his latest matchday vlog. Wrexham really is one of the strangest sporting stories we’ve witnessed in quite some time.
And that’s just part of the first wave of celebrity contestants – more famous faces will take part in I’m A Celebrity… South Africa, entering the camp as the series goes on.
The new series will ‘push them to their limits and test them like never before’, ITV has said, promising bigger and tougher challenges and an even harsher environment.
Also taking part from the launch episode will be Diversity star Jordan Banjo, TV presenter Carol Vorderman, Olympian Fatima Whitbread, former royal butler Paul Burrell, ex-England cricketer Phil Tufnell, and supermodel Janice Dickinson.
ITV said: “Whilst nodding back to the Australian jungle, I’m A Celebrity…South Africa is a uniquely different series so viewers can look forward to lots of unexpected twists and turns.”