Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Wag and Company are recognised as a Point of Light

The Points of Light Awards were launched in Downing Street in 2014 to recognise outstanding volunteers who make a positive change in their community. First established by President George HW Bush in 1990, the UK's programme was developed in partnership with the original scheme, and I recently had the great honour of presenting one of the awards to Diane Morton, the founder of Hexham-based charity Wag and Company.

Wag and Company is the UK's only dog befriending charity for older people facing loneliness in their own homes. The charity uses friendship dogs to combat loneliness, and their more than 400 volunteers take their dogs to homes, care homes and sheltered housing to provide much-needed companionship to residents. Throughout the pandemic, Wag and Company has continued to provide virtual visits.

It was very special to be able to present Diane with her award, along with a letter from the Prime Minister. I was joined by Councillor Cath Homer and was also able to meet volunteers Tonia and Linda, and their wonderful dogs Belle and Ollie. 

I know through my own experience that a dog can have a massive impact on physical and mental health and wellbeing. Wag and Company is a very special charity and I would encourage everybody to support them in whatever way you can.

Congratulations to Diane and all the volunteers at Wag and Company!