John Robson from Cramlington tells us why life is so much better with friends.
Wag and Company North East Friendship Dogs was incorporated in August 2015, became a registered charity in March 2016 and launched operationally in May 2016.
Wag & Company’s sole purpose was to fill a gap, to enable older dog lovers to safely have friendship and the company of a dog wherever they are, in their own homes or in care or medical establishments.
We are still the only visiting dog charity befriending people in their own homes as well as in care and we see every day how important it is to make sure that people like Eddie (link to case study below) can have a real friend and access to a dog again.
Eddie was our first Friendship Dog in 2016 and year on year we’ve grown consistently to meet the huge demand for our lovely visiting friends across our region. On our 4th birthday we were celebrating our 400th Visiting Wag Team!
There have been many magical moments alone the way:
Northumbrian Water donated our office and their amazing team at Kielder support our annual fundraiser at the Kielder Waterside, the Walk for Wag.
Hay & Kilner Law Firm and BW-Medical Accountants became Corporate Partners providing immense support in kind and in donations.
Arco Experts in Safety agreed to provide all our volunteers with their branded polo shirts, a prize for our monthly draw, plus t shirts and raffle prizes for the annual Walk for Wag fundraising event.
Northumbria Healthcare NHS FoundationTrust chose us as their “Doggies on Prescription Service” and their Older Person’s Fellow David Dawson told us that
“what Wag does is just as important as medicine and tablets for the elderly because if you’re lonely and isolated it’s almost impossible to stay well..”
The Duchess of Northumberland said she would be "proud to become our Patron".
The Big Lottery provided us with a significant grant to finance our Digital Transformation Project enabling us to develop the necessary technology, initiatives, equipment and skills to become sustainable and to more than double in size at the same time.
Stockton Borough Council selected us as important to their preventative offering in combatting loneliness for older people.
We celebrated our 4th birthday and our 400th Visiting Wag Team, welcome Amber!
We launched Phase 1 of all our new systems and importantly our new supporters scheme Friends of Wag enabling people who love what we do to help us to do more of it in our communities!