MEET Maui - an ex-racing greyhound who now has a new life making a difference as a therapy dog.

Maui will be working alongside his owner, Jess King, who has recently started her new role as a Peer Support Worker with Equality For All CIC, a Bradford-based, non-profit organisation supporting people who are living with acute mental health needs and complex disabilities

Founder and Managing Director, Leanne Wright-Priestley, said: “We are passionate about promoting clients’ control over their own care and empowering them to demonstrate freedom of choice when tailoring and contributing to their care and recovery plans.

"We strive to constantly enhance, adapt and develop our services based on the voices of the people who actually receive them.

"Jess brings lived experience of mental health to the team, with Maui playing an important part in supporting our clients who are experiencing psychological distress.”

Maui was adopted by Jess in 2018.

She said: “Maui soon showed that he had incredible instincts and skills which enabled him to provide invaluable support when I was struggling with my own mental health.

"Maui’s natural skills were shaped and he received further training so that he could act as my assistance dog, supporting me through my mental health recovery and playing a crucial part in helping me to rediscover my independence. I’m so pleased that Equality For All are implementing this model so that Maui and I can now draw on our own experience to support others with their recovery.”

Recently, Maui and Jess have been working with a client with a diagnosis of social phobia, paranoid schizophrenia and personality disorder.

Maui has proven to be a great support, demonstrating his ability to pick up on human feelings by responding when the client is experiencing paranoia and anxiety.

Maui stops when he senses this, stays close and offers emotional support, allowing him to gradually build his confidence with going outside and entering into social situations.

He said: "I feel that Maui was extremely helpful; he's managed to help me do something that I've not been able to do for many years by myself. I would love to have more sessions with Maui in the future as I feel it could be very beneficial."