Wag & Company awarded vital National Lottery funding to help change more lives across the North East

We’re thrilled to have been awarded £20,000 in National Lottery funding to support our work befriending older dog lovers in their own homes, in care, and in hospitals across the North East of England.

This funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes, will be used to help us replace the large numbers of Wag teams we’ve lost during the pandemic years and to keep meeting the huge demand for our special Wag friends for people who really need us.

We need at least 500 teams right across the region. We have 351 teams today, and the turnover is still quite high as lives and health change for both dogs and people.

Our service is completely free to ensure no one misses out, and we rely entirely on the generosity and support of individuals, Friends, and organisations like the National Lottery to finance the operation that makes these visits happen.

The people we support have lost friends and family, as well as their beloved pets. Many people have health and mobility issues, they can’t go out independently or at all, and many have no family locally and don’t often receive visitors. They can’t have a dog of their own any more, and they’ve become socially isolated, often developing associated mental and physical health issues. Wag currently visits 206 people in their own homes, a 53% increase in the past eighteen months.

This simple concept creates lifelong friendships, gives everyone something to look forward to, a special dog to love, and a friend, supported by the team at Wag, to visit regularly, to look out for them and take them walking if it’s safe to do so.

Diane Morton, Founder & CEO of Wag and Company, said: “We’re so grateful that The National Lottery Community Fund is supporting our work in this way. Now, with help from National Lottery players, we can work towards our target of getting over 500 Visiting Wag teams across the North East enriching lives by 2026.

“Regular visits from our special friends make such a difference to older people in our communities. They give them a dog to love and cuddle again, something to look forward to and a fellow dog lover for a chat over a cuppa every week.  So simple, but so important”.

The National Lottery Community Fund recently launched its new strategy, ‘It starts with community’, which will underpin its efforts to distribute at least £4 billion of National Lottery funding by 2030. As part of this, the funder has four key missions: to support communities to come together, be environmentally sustainable, help children and young people thrive and enable people to live healthier lives. National Lottery players raise over £30 million a week for good causes across the UK.

Thank you so much to The National Lottery Community Fund for choosing us; every penny granted provides more special Wag friends for older dog lovers in our local North East communities.