'Therapy dogs' to benefit from Mayor of Ely's charity fund and city's Waitrose supermarket tokens
A national charity, which has volunteers in Ely, will be supported by this year’s Mayor of Ely charity fund as well as the Waitrose supermarket tokens scheme.
Therapy Dogs Nationwide is made up of more than 550 unpaid volunteers who give up their time, and their pet dogs, to provide care and comfort to those in need.
Volunteers from Ely set up shop outside Ely’s Waitrose supermarket on Sunday, December 16 to raise awareness about the organisation and to give members of the public the opportunity to pet a pooch.
Eileen Slattery, charity chairman, said: “Our volunteers are selfless, we are all one big family regardless of which part of Britain you’re from. They all just want to share their dogs.
“The people in Ely are just great. One of the members from Ely put us forward for the Waitrose scheme. I don’t mind if we only raise a penny, the money doesn’t matter to me, more volunteers would be wonderful.”
The charity was started almost three years ago and Eileen told this newspaper how they “didn’t even have a paper clip” when starting out. The money raised will go towards admin equipment, such as laptops and printers.
Each year, members attend the annual Crufts show. That comes at a cost to the group of more than £4,000. They attend the event to spread the word about their much-needed services in schools, hospitals and prisons.
In September this year, Therapy Dogs visited USAF Mildenhall which was hosting an event for more than 150 special-needs athletes from across England for the annual Joan Mann Special Sports Day.
Dogs came from as far as Wirral in North West England to support the event which saw more than 600 volunteers, airmen and dependents from RAF Mildenhall, RAF Lakenheath and RAF Feltwell attend.
Ms Slattery added: “We would like to build a database and make Therapy Dogs Nationwide more secure. We would also like to get a new website that is clearer and easier to use.
“Every penny counts with us. We would love it if more people were to get in touch about volunteering. We just want to brighten up people’s lives using our pets.”