A senior Newcastle solicitor is urging fellow members of the North East business community to get themselves and their four-legged friends involved with the work of a growing regional charity.
Our Alison Hall is a trustee of Wag & Company, which enables professionally-assessed volunteers and their dogs to visit older dog lovers in their own homes or in care and medical establishments across North East England in order to help combat loneliness.
Alison is also the newly-appointed president of the Newcastle upon Tyne Law Society, and as part of her year in office, she is able to nominate a charity for which fellow members raise money.
But alongside this fundraising work, Alison is also aiming to help increase the number of people around the region who are actively involved with the charity’s work.
Wag & Company, which is celebrating its second anniversary this month, was the North East’s first visiting dog organisation to enable volunteers with dogs to visit people in their own homes, rather than just in medical or care establishments.
It currently has almost 200 volunteers and their dogs on its books, but is actively working towards increasing this figure to 500 volunteers within the next three years.
Alison Hall, who also volunteered for Wag & Company with her seven-year old Bernese Mountain Dog Willow, says: “Dogs are far more than just pets – they’re proper family members, and it can be especially heartbreaking for older people who have had dogs through their lives, but who are no longer able to look after one.
“Wag & Company has done some wonderful work over the last couple of years, and we’ve seen at first hand the positive benefits of new friends and the special bond between dogs and people.
“There are already lots of people from the regional business community volunteering with Wag & Company, but with significant challenges facing the provision of befriending services for older people in the region, we’d love to see even more get involved.”
Wag & Company is holding its first Business Dog Walk in Kielder Water & Forest Park on Monday 24 September for North East firms that want to support the charity as part of their corporate social responsibility programmes.
Diane Morton, chair of Wag & Company, adds: “North East businesses do so much for charities in the region, a number are already supporting Wag & Company each in their own particular way.
“We’re benefitting from office facilities, volunteers, donations, sponsored events and professional services and, this year, most importantly for our new North East Business Walk, some businesses are sponsoring and in some cases, match funding, walkers which is truly amazing.
“We are honoured that Alison has chosen Wag & Company as her charity in this important presidential year and cannot emphasise enough how much the support matters to this little charity.
“Wag is already making a big difference to the elderly in our region with over 20,000 friend visits to date, touching almost 1400 lives in just about two years, but many more lonely, older people need us and we would be extremely grateful and absolutely delighted to see a great turn out from regional businesses at the Kielder Waterside in September.”
For further information on any of the above or, how we can help your business, please contact Alison Hall, or call 0191 232 8345.
For more information on the Business Dog Walk, click here.