The number of homes with animal family members is at an all-time high and many people are craving new opportunities to get involved with their local community, so Humanimal Trust is calling on dog lovers to ‘Paws for a Picnic’ this half term.
Mental health issues and loneliness are just two of the many challenges faced by people across all age groups during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For some, this was the first time they had experienced such problems whilst for others, existing issues were exacerbated during periods of lockdown and self-isolation.
Statistics show that levels of loneliness in the UK increased since spring 2020. Data from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey illustrate that between 3 April and 3 May 2020, five per cent of people (2.6m adults) said they felt lonely “often” or “always”. From October 2020 to February 2021, that increased to 7.2 per cent of the adult population (3.7m adults).
As a result, the UK has seen an unprecedented rise in households with animals, as people seek solace and companionship to tackle feelings of isolation and anxiety.
Sadly however, mental health in animals isn’t as well-documented despite it becoming a growing concern. As socialising away from the home resumes and people start returning to the workplace, the isolation commences for our furry companions, causing complex issues such as social and separation anxiety in dogs in particular.
In response to this, Humanimal Trust is calling on dog lovers and their families to come together with their four-legged friends during the half term holidays to take part in ‘Paws for a Picnic’, sponsored by Leucillin Family Sanitiser.
Jo Blake, Development Manager at Humanimal Trust, said: “After such a long time, catching up with friends and family has never felt better, so we’ve teamed up with our sponsor Leucillin, to ask people to come together in their local community this half term (or whenever suits you) and 'paws' to appreciate all those you love, of all species.
“It is easy to get involved, all you need is a group of like-minded people, with or without canine companions, a suitable picnic venue - whether that’s your local park, beach, garden or weather-friendly location - and your favourite snacks. We've put together some ideas to help make your fundraising event a success, with recipes, games, activities and resources available on our website.”
Humanimal Trust was founded in 2014 by orthopaedic-neuro veterinary surgeon Professor Noel Fitzpatrick with the aim of driving collaboration between vets, doctors and researchers.
Professor Noel Fitzpatrick said: “I believe that One Medicine is the most rational route forward for both animal and human medicine.
“By taking part in ‘Paws for a Picnic’ and raising money for Humanimal Trust, together we can make a meaningful difference towards achieving a fairer world where animals and humans benefit equitably from medical progress and not at the expense of the other.”
However and wherever you choose to ‘Paws for a Picnic’, all the money raised will help the charity make ‘One Medicine’ a reality.
For further information and to get involved, visit www.humanimaltrust.org.uk