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Alpacas Say ‘Hello’ to Care Village Residents

Residents at Belong Newcastle-under-Lyme have enjoyed a springtime start to remember with a special surprise in the form of a pair of alpacas popping in for a meet-and-greet, and a stint working in the reception.

Teddy and Carlos, both aged four, made themselves at home at the Lower Street care village, mingling with their hosts, taking tea in the onsite bistro and learning about the town’s history with a tour of the integrated Belong Heritage Gallery. They then took-up a front-of-house post, offering a warm welcome to visitors.

The furry guests quicky forged friendships with Belong’s customers and colleagues who provided an abundance of love and cuddles whilst taking the opportunity to ask their owners questions and provide their own amusing tales of past antics involving animals.

Resident Margaret Paling, 98, said: “They’re beautiful, aren’t they?” and Janet Boulton, 89, added: “Oh, they’re lovely! They’re so well behaved – can they move in with us?!”

Emma Palin, experience coordinator at Belong Newcastle-under-Lyme, said: “What a fantastic afternoon we’ve had! To see our customers’ faces light up when the alpacas came in was truly magical.

“In previous years we’ve hatched our own chicks and ducks and for this Easter, we wanted another experience involving everyone; we even introduced our new friends to those who are confined to their beds. Animals provide an affectionate, sensory experience which offers emotional benefits to our customers, allowing them to feel connected in a way they might not always feel with people. It’s been a great success.”