Double whammy for Give a Dog a Bone charity

Louise Russell who launched the charity in 2013.
Louise Russell who launched the charity in 2013.

Southside charity Give a Dog a Bone has been shortlisted in two categories at this year’s Scottish Charity Awards.

The unique charity, which tackles loneliness in people’s aging years through animal companionship, has been named as a finalist in the Pioneering Project and Celebrating Communities categories.

Run annually by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, the awards are open to any voluntary organisation, charity, community group or individual charity volunteer or staff member, and celebrate the life-changing work they do and their dedication to making Scotland a better place to live.

Give a Dog a Bone, which works to tackle not only loneliness but also the rehoming of rescue animals, was launched by Clarkston mum Louise Russell in November 2013.

Since then, it has helped rehome more than 300 cats and dogs with over 60s looking for companionship.

In January 2018, the charity expanded its services by launching a new project – Companionship in the Community.

This Community Space project, on Pollokshaws Road in Shawlands, provides retired people with a safe space to make new friends, learn new skills and mix with dogs.

Patrons can pop in for a cup of tea and a chat or take in part in free activities ranging from yoga to Spanish lessons.

The success of the project saw a second community space open in Troon earlier this year.

The charity now sees 200 older people across its two locations each week.

Louise is hoping that being nominated for two prestigious awards will help raise awareness of Give a Dog a Bone, allowing her to further widen the services

She said: “At just five years old, not only has Give a Dog a Bone supported hundreds of animals and older adults to have a happier life together, we are making a difference to the wider over 60s communities with our Companionship in the Community project.

“We offer a fresh solution that communities love and our 200 weekly visitors is proof of that.

“To be shortlisted in not one, but two categories at the Scottish Charity Award, is testament to the life changing work Give a Dog a Bone brings to communities. This, on top of our previous awards, shows continued growth and success in our work.

“We are growing fast and have no plans to slow down. My hope is that by raising awareness of Give a Dog a Bone and the work that we do, we can raise the funds necessary to further expand our services into new communities.”

In March this year, Louise won the Amazing Community Contribution award at the No.1 magazine Amazing Women Awards.

In 2015 she received the Prime Minister’s Point of Light Award and in 2016 Give a Dog a Bone was the winner of the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s Community Award.

Several of the charity’s service users have described its work as life changing, creating an opportunity for them to get out and socialise or finding them companionship by giving a home to a rescue animal.

To vote for Give a Dog a Bone in the Scottish Charity Awards visit www.scvo.org.uk/vote before May 17.