North East-based charity, Wag & Company North East Friendship Dogs, has welcomed Her Grace, The Duchess of Northumberland as Patron.
Best known for redeveloping The Alnwick Garden, the Duchess of Northumberland is a British businesswoman and has served as Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland since 2009.
An avid dog lover, the Duchess has been integral in developing the Elderberries Programme at Alnwick, a social project bringing people together to socialise and build friendships; part of her commitment to helping Northumberland address loneliness and be a great place to grow older.
Diane Morton, charity director, said: “We’re honoured that the Duchess has agreed to become Patron of Wag & Company.
“By putting her faith in us and lending her support, we are hopeful that more and more people across our region with their special dogs will become aware of the difference they could make to our elderly neighbours with just an hour or two most weeks.”
Launched in 2016, Wag & Company operates across the whole of the North East bringing friendship and the company of a dog to older people in their own homes – unique to Wag & Company – or in care or medical establishments.
The charity now has 222 professionally assessed volunteers who, with their special dogs, are making people smile across the region; another 54 are currently going through the charity’s assessments process. To date, nearly 30,000 friend visits have been made and over 1,400 vulnerable North East people are benefitting.
The Duchess of Northumberland said; “Being a lover of dogs, I understand and appreciatehow they can enhance life for their owners and elderly friends. Loneliness is a killer and if dogs can help to address this scourge of the 21st century then I am fully supportive and am honoured to be a Patron of such a worthy initiative.”
For more information on Wag & Company see www.wagandcompany.co.uk