We are immensely proud to be enabling this large community of dog lovers to make such a difference to the lives of older dog lovers in their neighbourhoods across the region.
Frailty, bereavement and isolation can creep up on anyone and if you’re a dog lover, when you’re feeling vulnerable you benefit enormously from the love and comfort of a lovely dog, a regular visitor who they count as part of the family. At the same time of course, they get a very nice two legged dog loving friend for a regular chat and a cuppa, a real friend who raises a flag if they are in any trouble. Friends for life.
We are extremely grateful to the Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust for continued support of the delivery of our unique befriending service in the North East. The latest award has funded 7.5 Visiting Wag Teams (VWTs) for a year, improving the health and wellbeing of our older friends by reducing their loneliness and social isolation.
The impact we are making…
Since we started in 2016 we have made over 96,746 visits and are currently benefitting 2,831 older people across the region. As of 31 March 2023 we have 426 VWTs with 33 applicants in our pipeline, we are visiting 164 people in their own homes and 184 care and medical establishments with another 232 on our waiting list.
We know that Covid-19 has exacerbated the loneliness experienced by so many older people in our region and now they are facing the additional worry about rising living costs – the need is greater than ever. So growing our home visiting service, unique to Wag & Company in the North East, is particularly important because it helps us reach more socially isolated older people. It enables older and vulnerable dog lovers to have safe, regular face to face contact and develop a long lasting relationship with a fellow dog lover and their dog from within the community. Providing them with a positive and constructive relationship to
help their health and wellbeing by being socially connected.
We have also recognised the additional benefits of regularly visiting people who live alone. For instance, noting an empty fridge, a creeping change in physical or mental health, the ignored consequences of a fall, practical issues with carers or home DIY etc. We are always able to assist, raise the alarm or both.