A volunteer from North Wootton is encouraging animal-lovers to get involved with The Cinnamon Trust after discovering first-hand how rewarding it is to help support the elderly and their pets.
Veronica Woods, 62, became involved with the charity shortly after retiring last September when she spotted a notice in a local shop requesting volunteer dog walkers.
She said: “It’s been a lovely experience. It gets me out and about and has been nice to get to know Mrs McAdam. I don’t think that I could have a dog myself as it wouldn’t be practical, but I love walking Sam.
“We all gain from the set-up and he’s a great little dog. This is a great way of getting the benefits of having a dog without the commitment.”
She added: “The Cinnamon Trust is a charity that was set up to help the terminally ill and over 60s to care for their pets and save them from the distress of having to give them up.
“Volunteers help with cleaning, feeding and walking pets – anything that they can do to help and it can be for any animal but mainly dogs and cats. There are also long and short term foster carers available for if owners have to go into hospital or die. They have a network of volunteers that spans the country.
“After I retired I was looking to do some kind of volunteer work and fill my time. I saw an advert in a shop window and this fitted perfectly.”
Veronica now walks Sam, a Jack Russell-Corgi mix, twice a week for Pamela McAdam, who is partially disabled due to arthritis.
Veronica said: “I had to give references and they have very strict rules about safety, but a few days after I was put on their books, they sent me a badge and information, then asked me to pop round and meet Pamela.
“She can get out a little bit herself, but it is becoming increasingly difficult for her and Sam is quite strong.
“I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Sam and spending time with Pamela, she always makes me a cup of tea after we’ve been for a walk. I walk Sam twice a week and another volunteer walks him once a week – you really can do as much or as little as you want and it is so flexible.
More information about the charity is available at www.cinnamon.org.uk and potential volunteers should contact the charity by calling 01736 758707 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Veronica said: “If you think it might appeal to you, definitely give The Cinnamon Trust a ring and have a chat with them. Tell them what you can offer and even if you can’t walk dogs, there will be something that you can do.”