A Wag & Company that befriends older and vulnerable dog lovers in their own homes as well as in care has teamed up with regional businesses to make sure their friends feel special this Christmas.
Wag & Company, working to battle loneliness and isolation in older people through friendship with special dogs and their owners, has put together afternoon tea gifts for those who find the Christmas season especially tough. This has been possible thanks to a generous donation from Primula, as well as support from Ringtons and the McCarthy Stone Foundation. Many elderly people have experienced the loss of loved ones and tend to be alone during the holiday period.
Volunteers and their dogs have been taking to the streets in freezing conditions to spend time with their Wag friends, delivering over 160 gift packages in total. The package includes a Ringtons luxury afternoon tea box, a special Wag coaster designed by local artist Alex Clark as well as handwritten Christmas cards.
Diane Morton, founder and chief executive of Wag & Company, said: “This time of year can be particularly isolating for the people we visit, so we’ve been working extra hard to ensure our volunteers and four legged friends have lovely gifts to share with them at Christmas.
“Conversation, company and cuddles are just what the doctor ordered. It’s amazing how a dog can change a dog lover’s day. They really do light up a person’s face as soon as they open the door to them.
“We’re so grateful for the support we’ve received particularly from Primula and all the amazing Wag volunteers to distribute our Christmas gifts – they mean so much to those who receive them.”
Established for over eight years, Wag & Company currently provides nearly 400 visiting wag teams befriending older, vulnerable dog lovers from Berwick-upon Tweed down to Northallerton. To date, the charity has made over 90,000 friend visits and nearly 3,000 North East people are benefiting from the service.
Mrs Lynn Brennan is a 72-year-old widow from North Tyneside who lost her dog soon after she lost her husband and now lives alone. Lynn has been visited by Wag team Gemma and Bentley the dog since 2018 and received her Christmas visit and gift package recently. She said: “You’ve made it possible for me to have lovely friends for life. They make my life so special; I love them so much and they are family to me now.”
The Christmas and New Year period always highlights issues of loneliness and isolation. With demand for Wag’s services growing, the charity is currently on the hunt for more volunteers and their furry friends to join their mission to reduce loneliness in older and vulnerable dog lovers.
If you’d like to find out more about becoming a Wag & Company volunteer in 2023, please visit https://wagandcompany.co.uk/volunteer or for more options on how to support the charity, visit https://wagandcompany.co.uk/support-us/