Three alpacas named Flash, Pickles and Tom visited Weston Hospicecare during a day hospice session.

Owners Steve and Sally Baker answered questions posed by patients and offered a chance for people to pet the animals.

They say interaction with alpacas can have a positive effect on people’s health and state of mind.

They said: “Alpacas, like many other animals, have a beneficial effect on the wellbeing of humans. It is believed that various vital signs are ameliorated, such as heart rate and blood pressure.

“Alpacas are gentle, odd-looking and non-judgemental and have unusual and interesting behaviours which please observers.

“We hope they brightened the day for all who saw Flash, Pickles and Tom and we certainly enjoyed our visit to Weston Hospicecare.”

The pair keep nearly 40 alpacas after originally planning to keep only three. Their hobby and life has been transformed by the presence and responsibility of keeping the animals.

They continued: “We were going to have three as a retirement project but ended up buying a small herd of 12, we now have 38 animals we look after.

“We are now far busier than ever with people visiting to walk with, and spent time with, the alpacas. We also attend shows and now need to maintain our land.”  

The pair run Stoke Wood Alpacas near Taunton and were encouraged by clinical staff to offer patients of the day hospice a therapeutic activity to engage with.

  • Donation



    Click here to support our A MINUTE A MONTH campaign.


    Thank you so much for supporting your hospice!

    All donations, big or small, are vital and provide compassionate end of life care to local people.

    Making a donation is easy and secure, just fill in the form below.

    Keeping in touch...
    Select Payment Method
    Personal Info

    Billing Details

    Weston Hospicecare

    Reclaim Gift Aid

    Gift Aid It!Add 25% more to your donation at no cost to you. A Gift Aid declaration allows Weston Hospicecare to claim tax back on eligible donations. It means that for every £1 you donate to Weston Hospicecare we can claim back 25p from the government.

    By ticking the "Yes" box, I agree I would like Weston Hospicecare to reclaim the tax on all qualifying donations I have made, as well as any future donations, until I notify them otherwise. I understand that if I pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all my donations in that tax year I may be asked to pay any difference. I understand that Weston Hospicecare will reclaim 25p of tax on every £1 that I give.

    What is Gift Aid?

    Gift Aid does not cost you a penny more, but can add an additional 25p to every £1 you donate. When Weston Hospicecare receives a donation from a UK taxpayer, we're entitled to claim an amount of tax (calculated at the basic rate of income tax in that year) paid on that donation. Once you have given your permission for us to do this on your behalf, there is no need for you to do anything else.

    All that is required is that you must be a taxpayer and that would have paid or will pay sufficient Income and/or Capital Gains Tax to cover all the Gift Aid claimed on all your donations in that tax year. Please note that it is your responsibility to pay any difference.

    The amount of tax we claim will be 25% of the total value of your donations in that tax year. Furthermore, if you are a higher taxpayer, you are also entitled to claim the difference between the basic rate which we will claim and the amount of tax you have actually paid. For further details on how you can do this, please contact your tax office. If your tax situation changes and your gifts will no longer be eligible for the Gift Aid scheme please contact us and we will amend your record accordingly.

    Take me to my donation »


    Donation Total: £10.00 One Time