With Christmas deadlines creeping up on students, they experience huge amounts of pressure.

For well-being week, Salford University have brought some furry friends into their student union to allow young people to take a break from the stresses of student life.

A raccoon, named Oreo, is not something you see everyday.

Students can pet all the animals, from tortoises to tarantulas to meerkats, and one student attendee claimed: “It makes me feel at home!”

Credit: Jessie Sale

Luke Davies is a student of Salford, and has had counseling sessions with the university’s well-being facility in the past.

He said: “They’ve always been good, coming up with different ways to make our experience here better.”

According to AnimalSmart.org, playing with or petting an animal can increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin.

Credit: Jessie Sale

Abigail Carter works for ‘Oreo and Friends’; the company who bring these animals to universities, children’s homes and sometimes even parties.

She claimed: “It relaxes people, like a mental health release”.

She went on to say that when they’re not busy going on adventures, the animals are looked after in newly found ‘Mayfield Animal Park’.

Some animals that have been mistreated come to ‘Oreo and Friends’ for a better life:


I asked students at the event: How helpful has this experience been in terms of improving your happiness this week?

Credit: Jessie Sale

Additionally, the SU have been providing plenty more events to get involved with this week such as; run club, yoga, a well-being brunch and more.


Megan Haywood, Media officer at the SU suggested: “A lot of people miss their own pets, so it means a lot to them.”

This event will continue every year because of the tremendous responses it has received.



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