Thank you everyone for your patience over the last few months. I developed an eight phase plan back in March, and I am proud to announce that it is now complete.
Here is the secret that I have been keeping (and as with Jiminy's Jungle CIC's announcement today - many thanks to the privileged few who knew for keeping the secret!)
Welcome to the transformation - Critter Assisted Therapy (C.A.T) is the new venture of Critterish Allsorts. Over the last two years, I have provided animal assisted therapy services to two secure psychiatric hospitals on a weekly basis. During that time I have become passionate about the problems facing those with mental health issues (not just inside themselves, but also the stigmas surrounding their health problems which affect them in the outside world), and am therefore dedicated and committed to helping as many sufferering with those issues as I possibly can. I wanted to show this by giving an independent focus to our animal assisted therapy services, and so was born "Critter Assisted Therapy" :)
In March I commenced studying (at 45 years of age that is no mean feat) to become an Animal Assisted Practitioner and counsellor. Yesterday, I was informed, that not only had I passed my final exam, but that I had passed with distinction (something which I am told is very rare). I also passed every single module with distinction too - meaning I received marks in excess of 90% every step of the way. I am very proud of this accomplishment, and the fact that I have managed to fit my study around running a full time business that is constantly growing and demanding my time.
Now that I am qualified, I can practice animal assisted therapy and offer it as a unique service to customers. This represents the accomplishment of another dream - to help people with their emotional and mental wellbeing, by introducing them to the healing power of animals. This, for me, is the most satisfying part of my job, and gives me the best feeling in the world, and this is why I now plan to focus my efforts on providing animal assisted therapy services.
Over the next few months, we will be adding additional services to the C.A.T. side of the business, involving work with invisible illness groups, other social gatherings allowing sufferers to share, phobia work, and emotional and mental well being workshops to name a few. I am still finalising the details on these.
For the time being, all other Critterish Allsorts services will remain unchanged - however, as the therapy side of the business grows, availability will become less for the other services, especially at weekends (although I foresee that it will be 2014 before this becomes apparent). This means that there will be less availability for birthday parties especially - any already booked for 2014 will of course be honoured, but once I am aware of the popularity of Critter Assisted Therapy then I will of course let everybody know about availability constraints (as I begin to work more in the week, I will work less at weekends, giving me time to spend with my family, who have had to fit around me for the last few years - thank you guys).
So thank you all for waiting, and being so excited and keen to learn all about it. Apologies for the waffle, but as you all know, I am a heart on my sleeve type of person and therefore I hold nothing back. This move represents a huge risk for us in terms of cost and shift in our business focus, but I hope that you all - as "The Critterati" - understand my reasons for the shift and will continue to support both Critterish Allsorts, and our new venture Critter Assisted Therapy.
Thank you :) Dale