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Walk for Wag at Kielder and help to reduce loneliness in our region’s older people

Walk for Wag 2017

Local supporters and businesses are being urged to come together to ‘Walk for Wag’ at Kielder Water and Forest Park on 23rd and 24th September.

Wag & Company North East Friendship Dogs, the only visiting dog charity to befriend elderly neighbours in their own homes as well as in care across our region, needs support to enable this vital service and is hoping the walk can raise more funds and build on awareness.

The walks along the beautiful Lakeside Way, are 10km but with a 3km option. The Sunday Walk has been so successful, that this year sees the launch of a new North East Business Walk the following day, Monday 24th.

Local companies already signed up are Sage, Northumbrian Water, Arco, Hay & Kilner Law Firm, Blackett Walker, Harvey & Hugo, and the Newcastle Falcons. This year Wag & Company is also honoured to be joined by the very special dogs from Northumbria Police Dog Section who are attending for the first time.

Launched in 2016, the charity now has 212 professionally assessed volunteers who, with their special dogs, are making people smile across the North East. To date, nearly 28,000 friend visits have been made and over 1600 vulnerable North East people are benefitting.

Diane Morton, charity director, said: “The Kielder Walk is a crucial source of funds for Wag & Company and we are grateful to Northumbrian Water for hosting it again this year and also for Arco’s continued support.

“We were so lucky last year to have 133 walkers who raised over £13,000 for us; this covered a third of the costs needed to deliver our service. Amazing! It was also a great, fun day in a spectacular setting. We’re hopeful to have a similar number taking part again this year.”

There is no entry fee and parking charges are met by Wag & Company. All the charity asks is that each walker aims to raise sponsorship of at least £50 to enable its work.

The walks will be officially opened by Sheila Moody, a lady from County Durham who benefits from Wag & Company’s service, and knits hats sold to raise money.

Refreshments of chocolate (donated by Nestle in Fawdon), biscuits provided by Ringtons, dog biscuits from Nestle Purina and Feelwells, a ‘Walking for Wag’ t-shirt and a dog bandana are all provided for walkers. There is also a raffle, including prizes such as a Barbour jacket, the Hexham Uketeers will be serenading everyone during registration, a face painter will be painting walkers’ faces, and there will be cakes donated by Costco and very special handmade ‘Wag hats by Sheila’ available to purchase.

Diane continued: “Every penny raised enables our lovely visits. We hope everyone who believes what we do is important will help us at Kielder so that we can continue to grow and provide friendship and the company of a dog to anyone who needs us.”

Walkers must register online via the Wag & Company website by the 16th of September.