Paws & Pause is a socially-conscious dog day care, based in Brixton, South London. Paws & Pause look after people’s dogs by providing professional day care, whilst also delivering traineeships for people in long term unemployment due to mental illness and substance addiction. Paws & Pause believe in creating a fun, safe, caring and welcoming space for trainees, staff, customers and dogs.
Grace Beards and Jodie Larsen are the founders and directors of Paws & Pause. Grace and Jodie met working for a homeless charity, where they became frustrated by the severe lack of support and sustainable routes into employment for people in substance use recovery or living with mental health difficulties. They noticed that animal-based employment opportunities were especially limited. As life-long dog lovers, both Grace and Jodie firmly believe in the power of animals to support wellbeing and encourage people to make positive changes in their lives. So, they set out to build something that would provide this opportunity: and Paws & Pause, London’s socially-conscious doggy day care, was born.
Paws & Pause now employ a team of six who support Grace and Jodie with both the day care and the trainee programme. Paws & Pause are proud to say that half of their current team are former trainees of their programme.
Paws & Pause advocate that animals, in particular dogs, are a catalyst to engaging people living with mental health difficulties or substance use challenges as part of their recovery journey.
Paws & Pause deliver an employment skills training program for people in long term unemployment due to mental ill health and substance addiction. Paws & Pause believe in supporting people to feel employable, this means giving people the confidence to take their next steps into work or further education and make informed choices about their careers.
Trainees are equipped with skills that promote sustainability and resilience in individuals; developing areas such as personal training, budgeting and practicing the practicality of being in a workplace – such as timekeeping, managing health at work and organisational skills.
Paws & Pause are also working with Black Thrive to promote opportunities within the Black community in Lambeth and address the lack of diversity in the pet care sector.