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A Kielder dog walk supported by 133 dog lovers including Newcastle Falcon and Tongan International Opeti Fonua raised funds and awareness of Wag and Company North East Friendship Dogs - the region’s only charity to visit the elderly and vulnerable in their own home.
Wag and Company was founded by Diane Morton, retired group HR director for Northumbrian Water that also hosted the event. She was inspired to set up the charity in 2016 after volunteering for Northumbrian Water in care homes and later experiencing her late father with dementia who was greatly comforted by visits from her dog.
Diane said: “In a little over a year since we launched the charity we now have over 102 approved volunteer Wag Teams who visit the elderly at home, in care homes, in dementia programmes and hospitals.
"They have made nearly 9,000 successful visits and we are well on our way to reaching our target of 500 volunteers by 2021.
“We watched my father deal with vascular dementia over a number of years. It was heartbreaking but the relationship he developed with our Labrador Harry, who visited the nursing home with me, was beautiful and really special. Dad didn’t know who I was but he knew Harry by name.”
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