Perhaps the most popular member of the team at Court Fields School in Wellington is senior science technician Adam Etherington’s dog – Spot.

She accompanies Adam to school three days a week, having been assessed by the charity Canine Concern, and she is as good at making friends with staff as she is with the pupils.

And now the pair have been named Canine Concern Member of the Month for November.

“I’m absolutely thrilled, not so much for myself but for Spot,” said Adam. “She’s amazing, so it’s great to see her get this recognition.”

Canine Concern is a charity that specialises in ‘bringing joy and reassurance’ into the lives of the elderly, vulnerable and many others by providing care dogs.

Its care dogs, along with their trained volunteer owners, visit a range of locations such as care homes, hospitals, prisons and even offices to reduce stress levels in staff. It is officially recognised by The Kennel Club.

Adam became a member of Canine Concern in about 2000 with his collie, Sally. Then, eight years ago, along came Spot: “She was a tiny puppy, 12 weeks old. I was running a lunchtime bug club at Court Fields so I brought her into that and she absolutely loved it,” said Adam.

“Spot is mainly in with me in my prep room during lesson time, but with an added stair-gate, she has lots of visitors at the end of every lesson and waits eagerly to greet everyone who comes by.

“I still do lunchtime clubs on Monday and Friday, with up to 20 students turning up, and they love to interact with Spot.

“The school has a well-being hub where sick or upset students go when in time of need, so we are often called to go and help cheer people up, and Spot is great at this as she loves cuddles on the sofa! We often go down to the learning support unit to have a chat with the students and staff there, too.

“Every Wednesday after school there is well-being Wednesday, where staff turn up for tea and cake and Spot mooches around, stops for a stroke and vacuums up all the crumbs. Everyone is smiling.”

Spot also goes on the annual Year 7 camp, Duke of Edinburgh weekends, and does the Blackdown Challenge and the Exmoor Challenge.

Adam said: “She absolutely adores the students and staff alike and thrives with all of the attention. But I don’t bring her in every day – she needs to have some space to herself too!”

Canine Concern said: “It is lovely to have Adam back with us and hopefully forming a team of volunteers in our birthplace. We often find word gets around and more people join when someone has such a wonderful dog helping so many.

“Our insurance only covers after the dog is at least nine months old and has been assessed for temperament and behaviour. Schools are realising the benefits of a dog to help in many ways, even for the benefit of staff, as in this lucky school.”

The Canine Concern website has information on how to join as a volunteer, make a donation, become a supporter or book a care dog for a visit.