Supporting dogs who are a lifeline for those suffering from mental health problems

This Mental Health Awareness week, the Kennel Club is saying thank you to our kind, four-legged companions and raising awareness of how dogs can change our lives.

The Kennel Club Charitable Trust provides support for dogs, organisations and charities who help those facing challenges with mental health, and make an everyday difference to our lives. You can read about some of the amazing projects, organisations and charities which the Kennel Club Charitable Trust has supported below:

Young Gloucestershire

Young Gloucestershire is a regional youth organisation that supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The charity aims to provide young people with skills and confidence that will help them change their lives for the better.

Young people who seek help from the organisation are given unique opportunities to learn new skills and access therapy, as well as career counselling. The charity has proven to have positive impact on the mental health of young people, who could otherwise feel lonely and lost.

Realising the therapeutic powers of dogs, and their positive impact on mental health, Young Gloucestershire reached out to the Kennel Club Charitable Trust for financial support with their Animal Assisted Intervention project. This year, with the funds provided by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, Young Gloucestershire can now employ specialist dog practitioners and a handler for their therapy dog, Buddy. Buddy will also help young people with their reading, supporting them to feel more confident.

Karl Gwilliam, Fundraising Manager at Young Gloucestershire said: “We are so grateful to the Kennel Club Charitable Trust for funding our dog assisted therapy project. The funds help us to employ a dog handler for Buddy and through the therapy, ensure that young people can achieve long-term outcomes.”

The Cinnamon Trust

The Cinnamon Trust is the only specialist national charity which seeks to relieve the anxieties, problems, and sometimes injustices faced by elderly and terminally-ill people and their pets. Recognising that for many elderly people living on their own, their pets are their reason for living and their constant companions – on hand 24 hours a day, every day, comforting, loving and protecting their owners – not only from outside threats, but also offering protection from loneliness and despair.

The Trust has a national network of over 18,500 community service volunteers who provide practical help and peace of mind for owners when any aspect of day-to-day pet care poses a problem – such as being housebound or going into hospital. The Cinnamon Trust helps well over 10,000 people a year.

The Kennel Club Charitable Trust first supported the Cinnamon Trust over 20 years ago, providing funding to help their cause and continue their vital work, as well as for a new sanctuary. The Cinnamon Trust has no charge for any of its services, with the objective of providing ‘Peace of mind and practical help for people – love, care and safety for pets’.

“I've been a volunteer dog walker for the Cinnamon Trust for about five years now,” says Diana Stenning, who volunteers with the Trust. “It's an honour and a privilege to be trusted with these precious pets that without regular walks, their owners couldn't keep. Not only is getting out in the fresh air great for lifting the spirits, but so is a quick chat with the owners who are always so grateful for your help and support with their much-loved pets. Their dogs really are a lifeline to them in so many ways, picking up their spirits and providing love and companionship every single day.”

Sylvia is also a volunteer who walks Missy, for her owner, Anita, every day. She says: “I find that sometimes Uni can be overwhelming or stressful, but it never fails to calm me down going out into the fresh air with Missy. Volunteering for The Cinnamon Trust has been exceptionally valuable, not only because I am getting to help a dog and their owner stay happily together, but also because I am using my time valuably by exercising and making new friends. Anita is no longer just a stranger whose dog I walk, nor is Missy just a random dog I walk - they are both companions that I truly couldn’t imagine my life without.”


Refuge4Pets is a unique charity which helps pets belonging to victims of domestic abuse. Victims often can’t take their pets with them when escaping the situation, facing an impossible choice of leaving them behind or staying in a toxic environment. The charity provides free fostering services for those much-loved pets until they can be reunited with their owners.

Refuge4Pets provide food, housing, transport or vet fees for their four-legged residents and rely on donations and volunteers to help owners and pets in need. Supporting their cause, the Kennel Club Charitable Trust helped to fund a vehicle so Refuge4Pets could transport animals to safety. The funding also helps to cover the costs of veterinary treatments and fostering for dogs in their care.

Mary Wakeham, manager at Refuge4Pets commented: “We felt truly supported by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, knowing they want us to succeed in our mission and make both the human and animal victims of domestic abuse feel safe.”

To find out more about how you can help or donate to fund these projects and organisations via the Charitable Trust, click here. If your organisation or charity recognises the power of dogs and needs support, you can find out more about applying for Kennel Club Charitable Trust funding here.


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