STRESSED out students got to try out the University of York's latest idea to relieve exam stress - a "puppy lounge".

The university's Halifax College hosted an event for students to pet puppies to help ease the burden of coursework and revision, in association with the Guide Dogs charity.

Co-sponsored by York Nightline, the event is designed to give students a break from their final studies and to raise money for Guide Dogs, providing the opportunity to learn more about the charity and how to get involved.

A one-off event for this term, it is hoped that similar sessions may be scheduled for the next academic year.

Peter Osborne, Guide Dogs Mobility Team Manager, said: “It’s fantastic that York University students have agreed to carry out some fund-raising for us.

"Guide Dogs receive no government funding, so we are reliant on people giving their time to raise the money needed to provide our life changing services.

“We believe that a dog can make a remarkable difference in any person’s life through companionship and the human/animal bond. I hope that the students will find their time with our extraordinary dogs a comfort during this stressful time of year.”

Danielle Maxwell, a graduate student at York’s Centre for Women’s Studies, Halifax College tutor and organiser of the event said: “This period of the year is one of the most difficult times for students, even for those who have already finished their exams. We wanted to create an event that provided a break.

“After seeing the success of Guide Dogs at Nottingham Trent University for both the students and the charity, we decided to explore the options of bringing therapy or guide dogs to York. The charity was very approachable and supportive through the planning process, and students have shown immediate interest.”

Oleg Lisagor, Halifax College Provost, said: “Halifax College saw this opportunity as a chance to provide students with a revision break as well as generate interest in the third sector.

"Students will have the opportunity to interact with both the dogs and puppies available and the resources and opportunities of the charity.”