‘Animals cheer people up’: Martin Clunes and Clydesdale Bruce surprise hospice patients

  • Martin Clunes surprised patients at a Dorset hospice with a visit from his horse, Bruce.

    The actor may be known for his Men Behaving Badly role, but the 18hh Clydesdale proved a perfect guest on his visit to Weldmar Hospicecare.

    Martin, who is president of the British Horse Society, popped into the charity’s inpatient unit in Dorchester on Tuesday (26 October) with Bruce, who enjoyed meeting patients and staff – as well as enjoying a munch of grass on the lawn.

    “He’s a good ambassador for his breed because he is so gentle,” the Doc Martin star told BBC Breakfast.

    “They are great levellers. You could stand next to a horse and have a conversation with a queen, with a rag and bone man, with a jockey…”

    He added: “What I like about Weldmar is their work and the people, and it’s no harm for me to do something like this and I knew people would like to see Brucie! Animals cheer people up.”

    The pair were joined on the visit by Martin’s dog, Bob Jackson, who went inside to meet any patients who were not well enough to come out to see Bruce.

    “I nearly didn’t come today because I wasn’t feeling well but I’m so glad I’ve come because it’s really pushed my day up!” said day services patient Corrine.

    Jenny Wood, Weldmar’s day services lead, added: “It’s quite a sight to have Bruce out on the lawn. It’s so lovely to give people these experiences that are so unusual, and they can go and tell their families all about it. We’re really grateful to Martin for bringing him along.”

    Weldmar Hospicecare is a charity that provides end-of-life care for people living in Dorset who need our specialist help, both at its hospice and in people’s homes.

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