A Beith pensioner and his dog have been helping veterans at Erskine Hospital.

George Brabender has been taking Bailey, his Bernese Mountain dog, to the Renfrewshire home for veterans for the last two years.

George and gentle giant Bailey spend time every week with the charity’s residents, many of whom are living with dementia. Three-year-old Bailey, who is known locally for pulling his own little cart at Beith’s annual Lights and Laughter Parade, is now registered as a therapet dog with the charity Canine Concern Scotland Trust.

George, 68, said: “I wholeheartedly recommend volunteering to anyone, not necessarily with a therapet dog like I do, but in a role that suits you. I receive so much satisfaction from seeing residents happy.

“I like to see Bailey’s reaction to different people and their reaction to him. For me it’s all about giving something back. Spending time at Erskine is very rewarding for me, for Bailey and for the residents.

“A visit from Bailey can brighten up a resident’s day especially those living with dementia. He knows who he is going to visit and what rooms he is going to. Residents might be sleeping when we go in but as soon as they see him they are alert and smiling, happy to see their canine pal. Erskine do a wonderful job. Their homes and rooms are fabulous, and Bailey knows where his friends are!”

Erskine volunteer development manager, Diane McAllister, added: “We have a wonderful family of volunteers here at Erskine like George and Bailey who give their time for our veterans.

“There are many different roles including befrienders, activity helpers, drivers, volunteers in our shop and café and speech and language volunteers. Without the incredible support of our 200 plus volunteers many of the extra activities our residents enjoy would not be possible.”

No experience is required to volunteer, and training will be given. For more information contact Diane on 0141 814 4689 or email volunteering@erskine.org.uk.