Need help walking your dog due to isolation or shielding? One Old Town company has the answer...

By Jamie Hill - 22 April 2020

CommunityBusinessSocial Enterprise

Paw-fit Pet Services in Old Town have launched a brand new 'Not For Profit' service where they can match you with a trained and DBS checked volunteer within your own community.

Paw-Fit Pet Services was set up by Alex Giles along with her husband Wayne.

The company has been providing home boarding and dog walking to the people of Swindon for the last seven years.

Alex said: "We have a very well established client base, some of whom have very kindly given us a retainer to support us while we are unable to provide our normal service.  However, the HMRC has offered us grants to cover some of earnings.  This led me to think about what we could do to support our community. 

"Before setting up this business I was a Social Worker and have worked in both adult and children services, I know that some people already have very difficult lives and the current Corona Virus will be an added pressure to their already stressful lives.  What could I do to help? 

"There are organisations that provide a dog walking link to the elderly, the cinnamon trust for instance who are a fabulous organisation and provide volunteers to support the elderly and terminally ill but there isn’t anything for disabled people with long term conditions, people coming out of hospital or those shielding, isolating or key workers providing extra hours during the current Corona Virus.

"We have established a brand new ‘Not for Profit Social Enterprise’ service called ‘SupportMe@PawFit Pet Services’. We will advertise, train and provide all the tools needed for a volunteer to support a person with their dog walks in their own community.  We are using some of the money pledged to us as retainers to buy equipment, stationary, PPE and DBS checks etc.

"The service is still paid for but at the vastly reduce rate of £5 per hour (you would normally pay around £12 an hour for dog walking locally) and for each hour booked and paid for we will donate £1 to the Prospect Hospice.

"We know that the Prospect Hospice are really struggling for funds as many of their usual fund raising activities have stopped and the shops are all closed.  We chose this charity as one of our home boarders is a bank nurse for them, one of our dog walkers wife works for them and we have customers that also work for them so it’s a vital service that is close to home.

We have already begun these walks and we have had a fabulous response for our request for volunteers and would really like to link them with someone as soon as we can."

Here’s a link to their FaceBook page where you can find Teddy’s story who needed some extra support:  https://www.facebook.com/pawfitswindon/?eid=ARAzCdct-3MrlKJdgdJvEAAQD11zijOswUWzlP2WA7wwuiiQXKOgzJ09E0G3gVwIlOMbsONkmhHM8zHq

 

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