About us and the idea behind Hamish & Milo

Hamish & Milo Wellbeing Resources was founded by Clare, a primary teacher, educational psychotherapist, advisor, and trainer, and Anne a designer and creative communications professional.

Friends for nearly 20 years Anne and Clare were neighbours whose children were born a day apart. With many years of shared life experiences, adventures and enjoying time with their own children, Anne and Clare would discuss not only how to help their children but also how greater support was needed for many children who have difficulties with their mental health, emotional and physical development and general wellbeing.

Photo of Clare Williams Hamish & Milo Author
More on our author

Clare is a teacher, educational psychotherapist, consultant, trainer and supervisor. Her work in the field of children’s mental health and education is driven by her desire to advocate and inspire schools and pastoral teams to prioritise children’s wellbeing and to offer them the life chances that enable them to thrive within a complex ever-changing world.

Anne Waddicor Hamish & Milo Managing Director

Anne has worked in the corporate creative world for almost 30 years and has run her own design agency since 2011. Anne takes Clare’s ideas and turns them into visual tangible products. She created the brand; produces the artwork, illustrations, website, and manages the production of all of the resources.

Wellbeing and the power of pets in giving therapeutic support

In their discussions, they were very aware of the powerful role their pets played in comforting and connecting with their children. Over the years Anne’s dogs, Bob then Hamish, and Clare’s daughter’s guinea pigs, Fudge and Poppy would offer limitless, cuddles, spontaneous fun and playfulness helping their children to feel happier, regulated and loved.

They began talking about developing a wellbeing resource together, combining Anne’s commercial creativity with Clare’s ideas for an approach to support children’s emotional development. Both so aware of the way their own children’s pets offered comfort and unconditional care, especially when life felt tough or challenging and their recognition of the power of pets became a central feature for their work together.

With a lack of support for children’s emotional health, massively stretched services, and huge waiting lists for CAMHS, support for vulnerable children is worryingly sparse.

For many children, school isn’t easy and when children are worrying about their learning or friendships, when things at home are difficult, or they have experiences that adversely affect them, their wellbeing suffers, and they are at risk of long-term mental health challenges.

Clares’ work has always been about advocating for greater awareness of children’s emotional health and supporting schools to understand behaviour in the context of what the child is trying to communicate. She is acutely aware that children need opportunities to talk with adults who really listen and care about them, and to know that they are not alone in their feelings and experiences. Having the chance to talk to their peers with an adult who can help them to connect, feel heard and feel a sense of belonging whilst doing activities together, can be extremely powerful and life-changing for children.

There are amazing staff in schools who work really hard to be the listening ear, the advocate, and to help children express and share how they are feeling, but Clare’s vast experience in schools has made her increasingly aware that pastoral staff really need quality resources to help them.

So Hamish & Milo was created!

The Hamish & Milo Wellbeing Intervention resource was born from a great desire to offer pastoral staff in schools a comprehensive framework and a complete range of activities that can help vulnerable children gain an understanding of their own emotional experiences and can offer them insight, awareness, and approaches that help them regulate, reflect and thrive.

Research shows that stroking our pets for just 15 minutes boosts the “feel-good” hormones, serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin, and even lowers blood pressure by 10%!

Clare and Anne are both passionate about helping all children to enjoy life and to thrive, despite adversity.

Clare and Anne recognise completely how having a pet is very special and so many children love being able to talk to or cuddle a pet or an animal. They can help us to regulate, calm, feel loved and special. They can also make us laugh at the funny spontaneous things they do and playing with them allows us to have fun and feel a sense of togetherness.

As well as running Hamish & Milo together they are now even greater friends, with a common goal and shared purpose. They have shared both laughter and tears and know the importance of trust, fun and mutual respect!

Hamish is a very excitable, nosey loveable dog!

Hamish is a three year old cavapoochon who is bouncy, super nosey, and very, very loveable. He adores everyone he meets and tries to deliver kisses to all. He works at home with his mum Anne every day, welcoming visitors and delivery men and ensuring that the production of all the Hamish & Milo resources happen – from his dog bed in the office!

He joined the family during a tough time and has brought love, support, and friendship to each and every family member, even those who were not ‘dog people.’ His companionship with ‘his’ children is very strong and he is there for every family member unconditionally. He is the inspiration for Hamish & Milo, along with Milo of course, and his mum says “Knowing he is with me every day gives me a sense of comfort, he helps reduce anxiety, and helps me survive through life’s challenges.” What a little star! He looks forward to meeting lots of children on this journey!

About Hamish Image
About Milo Image

Milo is a friendly, cuddly and mischievous kitten

Milo belongs to Clare’s daughter Elisa ‘officially’, but also to her! Milo is just a few months old, but already very much a part of the family. He loves to play, chase, and jump around chasing anything that moves, including toes! He is very snuggly and cuddly, purring away as he lays upside down on a lap waiting for a tummy tickle. He even falls asleep in their arms, upside down with his legs in the air, purring noisily. He doesn’t like being on his own and follows Clare and Elisa everywhere around the house and garden.

Elisa had always wanted a kitten to play with, to talk to, and cuddle, especially on days when she hasn’t enjoyed school or has found learning hard. Milo is always so happy to see her when she comes home. Clare says “Having a pet is special and so many children love being able to talk to or cuddle an animal. They help us to feel special, loved and happier inside.”

Cartoon of Milo sleeping on his chair

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Hamish with newspaper cartoon