We’ve just launched a new partnership with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to enable more elderly dog lovers, in their own homes in Northumberland, to continue to enjoy the friendship of a dog and obviously to help combat loneliness at the same time. The new partnership is supported by the Trust’s Bright Northumbria charity.
With up to 12,000 older people in Northumberland currently estimated to feel lonely often or always, we hope that our work with the Trust will not only bring joy to those we visit but will also have a positive impact on their health.
We already home visit on referral from a small number of professional organisations across the North East region but on a relatively small scale; this is the first time we have teamed up with an NHS trust.
Home visiting is a simple idea but ensuring everyone's safety is obviously of paramount importance. That's where the partnership comes in. The support workers from the Healthcare Trust in this case, already visit many isolated people in their own homes, and are best placed to know how beneficial our visits would be and then to risk assess the whole situation and refer to us using our online Home Visit Referral Form.
This week, our friend John Robson and his Visiting Wag Team Sean and Alfie, took part in the press launch to promote our work with the Trust and featured in BBC Look North (North East & Cumbria), Chronicle Live and ITV Tyne Tees news.
John lost his wife of 60 years, Nora, 6 years ago and he also lost his much loved border terrier Mick who was 20 years old; he found himself bereaved and alone. Sean and Alfie started visiting John in his Cramlington home 5 months ago and John tells us the visits give him "such a wonderful lift" adding "it's the most wonderful thing that ever happened to me". John really enjoyed the company on the day of the press launch too and said "it was one of the best days I've had in years … next stop Hollywood!!"This is just one of the many stories of wonderful friendships between our Visiting Wag Teams and our elderly friends. We're delighted to be working with Northumbria Healthcare Trust to make a difference to the lives of even more older people in Northumberland and know that that his new partnership will be the start of many more beautiful friendships ❤️🐶❤️