Schoolchildren team up with four-legged friends to support charity

Pupils at a South Tyneside primary school have embarked on a four-week project to find out how one act of kindness can change the world for so many.

Year Five students from Simonside Primary have joined forces with charity Wag and Company to see first hand the impact volunteers can have on people’s lives.

The charity aims to combat loneliness of elderly dog lovers in their own homes, or in care, with two and four-legged companionship.

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It’s work was highlighted to pupils during a special visit from its Super Ambassador, Diane Snowsill, her lurcher Eddie and Sheila Moody, 89, one of the residents they visit in her own home.

As part of the project, youngsters will have the chance to accompany the charity’s volunteers when they visit Hawthorn Court Care Home in Hebburn to find out how small things can have a big impact on someone else’s life.

Teacher Nikki Woodrow, said: “This term, the year five pupils have been focusing on how one person can change the world. After hearing about the brilliant things Wag & Company does, our children were very keen to get involved.

“The first visit to school went amazingly. The children really engaged with Sheila’s stories and listened to how she loves visits from Diane and Eddie. One pupil even gave Sheila a spontaneous hug, which was heart-warming to see.

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“We’re thrilled the children have a chance to experience the difference volunteers are making every day and we’re looking forward to the visits to Hawthorn Court.”

Kaitlin, aged nine said: “I had a fantastic time with the visit. I loved hearing about Sheila and Eddie’s friendship and all the interesting World War stories. I hope we get to do it again soon.”

Wag & Company, run by Charity Director and Chair, Diane Morton, aims to almost quadruple its volunteer numbers over the next three years. This will enable more than 100,000 additional visits, bringing joy to around 2,000 elderly individuals.

Diane said: “We are so honoured the children of Simonside Primary School are interested in what we do. It’s really important that we shine a light on the need to engage with older people, so they can see how even the smallest of actions can brighten up someone’s day.”