Volunteers come to rescue of pet chihuahua after owner Janet is taken ill

When Janet’s beloved chihuahua, Rilla, became ill and had to be rushed to the vet, Rosie’s Trust – a brilliant charity which helps sick people and their pets – saved the day.

National Lottery-funded Rosie’s Trust supports dog owners like Janet who might be struggling to take care of their pets due to illness, disability or cancer treatment – but want to stay together.

So when Janet was taken ill after her pet pooch got poorly, the charity stepped in. Janet, 70, explains: “Rilla was in intensive care for five days. The trauma of it had an effect on my heart and I took a turn for the worse. They looked after her until I was well again.”

The trust now sends volunteers to walk Rilla through the week, so the little dog gets exercise.

“I have osteoarthritis in my knees and shoulder so I’m not able to walk Rilla,” explains Janet.

One of the people who volunteers for Rosie's Trust is Susan McKibbin, 63 (above), who has helped out at the Northern Irish charity for the past five years.

“I’m retired and have some time on my hands,” says Susan. “We did have a dog but when it passed away my husband and I decided we wanted to travel so we couldn’t take on another one. Rosie’s Trust is such a brilliant idea. You go in because you like dogs, the dog gets a walk, and the beneficiary and their dog get to stay together.”

As well as dog walking, Susan fosters pets. “The first little dog I fostered, it’s owner had cancer appointments and couldn’t leave it alone for hours. I started taking the dog for half a day and then for a week.”

By playing The National Lottery you raise £30M* for Good Causes every week

Each time you buy a ticket, you’re helping to fund valuable projects in the arts, sport, heritage and community sectors.

You’re also making an amazing contribution to combating the impact of Covid-19 on local communities, including yours, by ensuring that National Lottery-supported good causes can still provide vital services during these exceptional times.

*Based on figures from April 2019-March 2020. Players must be 16+.

By playing The National Lottery you’re helping to raise £30million* every week for good causes like Rosie’s Trust.

Volunteers also look out for the elderly owners. “When I pop by to take Rilla out, it gives Janet a bit of social interaction,” says Susan. “I think she’s been lonely but the volunteers help alleviate that – they even phoned during lockdown to check on her and have a chat.”

Janet agrees: “Rosie’s Trust is brilliant. Rilla wouldn’t get out for walks without them and they’ve given me peace of mind she’ll be looked after if anything happened.”

Volunteer in person, online, over the phone or even from your sofa

In the current crisis, volunteering can be a huge comfort not just to those who receive help, but to the volunteers too – helping them build confidence and giving them the opportunity to learn new skills.

In a recent survey**, more than half of the UK adults who were asked admitted that Covid-19 had negatively affected their mental health – but the same survey also found that wellbeing had been improved by helping others through acts of kindness.

The reality is that volunteering doesn’t need to take a huge amount of time. In fact, in the time it takes to watch an episode of your favourite programme on television, you could have made a bigger difference to someone’s life than you thought possible – and you’ll feel the satisfaction that comes from helping others.

This is why The National Lottery and ITV have teamed up to help you play a part in your community. Small acts of kindness can make a big difference. And even if you’re missing out on your favourite ITV show to help out, you’re not just supporting others – you can benefit too. (And, of course, you can always catch up on ITV Hub later!).

From helping out a neighbour to holding virtual coffee mornings, there are so many ways you can use your time to make a difference to help others, keep communities connected and reach those in need of support.

No matter how much time you can spare or where you live, there’s always something you can do. You don’t even need to leave your home – you can help out online or over the phone from the comfort of your sofa.

While it's true that government rules and restrictions mean we're more limited in what we can do and where we can go right now, it's also the case that many of us have some spare time on our hands which could be used to help others.

There is a way to give a lockdown lifeline to millions more people in this unprecedented situation – and it could take you as little as 60 minutes a week to make a real difference to someone’s life.

**Survey from International Red Cross

     

  • Visit howtohelpout.com for top tips, inspirational stories and volunteering opportunities to make a difference now

  •  

*Based on figures from April 2019-March 2020. Players must be 16+.

Source: Read Full Article