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All for a good paws...

4th October 2021

To mark World Animal Day, we are highlighting some of the heart-warming stories of how animals at projects and charities throughout the UK are lending a paw (or wing) to help people in need across the country, thanks to National Lottery players. 🐾

A group of women petting a dog. ©Dogs For Good
©Dogs For Good

World Animal Day (October 4th) is an annual event which aims to raise the status of animals around the world. Today we are celebrating the amazing impact that National Lottery funded animal related projects are having on the lives of people in communities throughout the UK.

It has long been known that animals serve as a source of comfort and support for people, but it’s not just love and companionship in our daily lives they offer.

Animals help humans in countless vital ways. From dogs that guide the blind to creatures that give us emotional support in tough times, animals are our soulmates, helpers and friends.

Over the last five years alone, The National Lottery Community Fund has awarded more than £17 million to around 200 animal-related projects across the UK which support people most in need.

National Lottery funding goes towards a wide range of animal related projects – from city and community farms; funding the training of rescue dogs that help emergency services during natural disasters; projects that support people with disabilities and behavioural issues; and projects that provide animal assisted therapy – in order to support people and improve their wellbeing.

Cariad Pet Therapy

Among the charities awarded funding in Wales is Cariad Pet Therapy, a Pembrokeshire-based Community Interest Company set up in 2018 to provide free pet therapy in a range of settings, from schools and hospitals to workplaces and care homes.

Two children riding horses. - ©Stable Life
©Stable Life

Stable Life

In Scotland, Stable Life uses National Lottery funding to provide Equine Assisted Learning to children and young people with social, emotional, and behavioural issues. The programme aims to improve confidence and self-esteem, help children develop social skills and manage problematic behaviour, support children to make healthy life choices, teach good citizenship, improve health and well-being, and prepare children and young people to engage successfully with mainstream education and other services.

An adult dog with a basket of balls with numbers for the online dog bingo sessions. - ©Dogs For Good
Online dog bingo sessions by ©Dogs For Good

Dogs For Good

Dogs for Good makes life-changing differences for people with disabilities through the power of expertly trained dogs across the UK.

Through its Dementia Dog collaboration with Alzheimer’s Scotland, Dogs for Good has delivered the UK’s first Dementia Community Dog Programme to pioneer a new model, with assistance dogs deployed in the community, working closely with people with dementia and the dementia care sector.

The funding for Dogs for Good and their partnership with Dementia Dog and Alzheimer’s Scotland has allowed them to deliver community dog interventions, volunteer engagement and dog day events – including dog bingo!

A woman (Alana) in the sofa with her two dogs and holding her cat. - ©Friends of Assisi
©Friends of Assisi

Friends of Assisi

In Northern Ireland, Friends of Assisi has been able to deliver pet supplies to homeless or disadvantaged people in the Ards and North Down area, whose pet is often their only companion and their lifeline. The project aims to keep as many companion animals as possible in their homes and with their owners, helping reduce additional stress by providing food and supplies for those with animals, who may not be able to provide for them during the pandemic.

A woman walking with a donkey in the country field. - ©Swansea Community Farm
©Swansea Community Farm

Swansea Community Farm

Swansea Community Farm relies on volunteers to work with the animals, but also for site maintenance, community allotment work and conservation, with volunteer workdays taking place on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

However, anyone over the age of 16 can access the farm in Swansea, and it is often prescribed by local mental health practices to people struggling with anxiety.

Now with around 100 volunteers on the books – and more people applying than ever due to the strain the pandemic has had on people’s mental health – the funding from The National Lottery has proved vital in helping the farm run smoothly.

Thanks to National Lottery players, hundreds of projects across the UK are able to make a positive impact on people’s lives with the help of some incredible animals.

Whether they are reducing loneliness, providing physical support, or improving people’s mental health, animals undoubtedly make a difference to us all.

Each week, National Lottery players raise £30 million for projects across the UK making vital projects like these possible.