Volunteers along with their dogs took to their heels recently to raise thousands for a North East charity that works to combat loneliness among older dog lovers.
Almost £4,000 was raised for Wag & Company following its annual fundraiser, the Walk for Wag, held at Kielder Waterside, Northumberland.
The walk – opened by Wag friend, Mrs Sheila Moody, 93, from Durham – featured around 90 sponsored walkers taking on the 10km Lakeside Way route or a 3km accessible option.
Diane Morton, Founding Director of Wag & Company, said: “It was a lovely day out shared by a number of Wag’s older friends hosted by the charity team to give them a change of scene and a lot of lovely dogs to stroke including the Wag N Wheels Newfoundlands and dogs from Northumbria Police Dog Section.
“This fabulous event would not be possible without all the walkers who support us, the event volunteers but also our business sponsors including Northumbrian Water’s team at Kielder who host the event, provide the PA system, radios, and free parking for walkers. Their senior managers even become part of our set up and event management team physically helping to support the whole event.”
Elsewhere, Arco Experts in Safety provided all the walker t-shirts; Feelwell’s Healthy Dogs Treats provided all the doggie treats; and CostCo donated all the cakes sold on the day. Barbour, Arco and Servicemaster Tyne & Wear also provided raffle prizes including a two-night dinner B&B stay in a deluxe hotel, gilets and jackets.
Wag & Company was set up seven years ago to tackle loneliness and isolation among older and vulnerable dog lovers in the North East. The charity has a network of hundreds of volunteers who visit older dog lovers in their own homes as well in care homes or medical establishments – the only visiting dog charity to visit people at home.
Diane Morton added: “This level of visiting requires careful safeguarding and monitoring. Wag never charges anyone for their visits for fear of people in need missing out, so events like Walk for Wag are really important income generators for the charity. We really appreciate the support we get each year.”
The charity was recognised by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2020 with the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.