Thanks to a grant from NHS Charities Together, ELHT&Me introduced Alfie into the ELHT family.

“Alfie brings endless joy to everyone he meets and enables us to reach people who otherwise we would not be able to.”

Based at the Spiritual Care Centre at Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital Alfie works with Rachel Fielding, Chaplain and Therapy Dog Practitioner at ELHT. A familiar face on our corridors, Alfie has become a huge part of the ELHT family - he’s even managed a royal cuddle from The Duchess of Cambridge!

Rachel said:

Alfie came to the Trust when he was just nine-weeks-old – and the following week he had met Prince William and licked him on the cheek! 

Not surprisingly, Alfie was a hit with the Royals and colleagues when he visited Clitheroe Community Hospital in January 2022, and it’s no mystery to see why. 

Alfie brings endless joy and support to patients and colleagues and enables us to reach people who otherwise we would not be able to - he enables life-changing conversations. 

Alfie and RachelWalking inside on corridors and outside for Alfie’s walks exposes him to many different situations – patients who may not engage on a ward will often make the first move to us when out and about. 

Walking the hospital corridors as a Chaplain is always full of encounters, but when with Alfie we are bombarded by people asking to stroke him - it’s amazing!


At work we ask everyone who strokes him to gel their hands first. 

Alfie works three days a week visiting staff and patients across all ELHT sites.

After a chill or play with his toys in the office his working day begins. He may have a ‘Paws for Play’ time with colleagues to help them relax, may do a corridor walk with one of his amazing volunteers, or may respond to a colleague or patient request to visit because of low mood. 

Alfie enables barriers to be crossed and helps to build trust with patients. It’s wonderful when you see the reaction to Alfie and see the difference he makes.  

It’s enriching for family too, even if they do not see the encounter. We leave a photo of Alfie and a card, so they know their loved one has had a visitor.

Alfie has a good response from patients living with dementia. One family told me how their mother, before she died, talked about ‘the doggie’. They were thrilled she had something to focus on during her final days. 

Hospitals can be scary places for people. Alfie brings the outside world in to help people feel individual and less isolated.