Pet Encounter Cumbria is asking people to nominate anyone that would benefit from a one hour free pet encounter session.

Owner of the business, Siobhan Harkness, said: "It has just been mental health awareness day and with me having a hard time with post natal depression, and with everything that has been going on this year, I just wanted to give a free encounter and just put a smile on people's faces.

People can nominate individuals, schools or care homes in Cumbria for the encounter, by going to Pet Encounter Cumbria's facebook page, and leaving a comment or private message by October 28.

Siobhan added: "I just want to bring awareness of what animals can do to de stress and the benefits of them to get people to talk more."

Pet Encounter Cumbria, based in Workington, delivers therapeutic and educational visits to children and the elderly.

The family run business has more than 30 species of pets and offer a unique, interactive, educational, animal experience. Advice can be given on how to look after each animal, their environment, adaptions, classification and individual requirements.

They have worked with the elderly, dementia patients, children with disabilities and autism, by the means of pet therapy for the young or old, a special birthday, school education classes (mini beasts, Amazon Rainforest), sensory therapy or just to help people get over their phobias.