New Charity Provides Canine Companions to Battle Loneliness

A new South London charity has just launched to help the over 55’s to reduce loneliness and social isolation.

CareDogs aims to match people over 55 with a suitable four-legged friend in a bid to tackle the increasing issue of social isolation in the UK. The canine companions are from several rescue shelters across the capital and the scheme is also helping to increase the adoption rate of older dogs.

The Croydon-based charity is headed up by Delphine Chui, who become aware of the problem of loneliness in the UK – especially among the over 55s. Delphine is the CareDogs Chair of Trustees, and she originally founded the charity in 2018.

This February marks the official launch of their canine companion service, and with it an invitation for any potential adopters to register their interest via the CareDogs’ website.

Delphine has owned several rescue dogs throughout her life and believes there is a vital role for dogs to play in helping to reduce social isolation. Delphine explains: “I’ve experienced first-hand the many ways a canine companion can improve your mental and emotional wellbeing. It’s our goal to bring those benefits to the people in society who need it most.

“CareDogs aims to contribute to a healthier and happier society by working to increase the number of older rescue dog adoptions, and by reducing loneliness and social isolation in older people through companionship and an all-important community support network.”

The charity is run by volunteers and collaborates with other rescues centres to facilitate dog adoptions. CareDogs also offers a befriending network combined with local community and dog walking support.

From this week, would-be adopters can register to be matched with their own CareDogs companion. The charity will match over 55’s with a dog and provide a volunteer who will help support the rehoming process and assist with weekly dog walking, plus provide company and friendship for the new owner.

CareDogs are now inviting people to either register themselves, or for someone they know who could benefit from the addition of a rescue dog into their life.

For more information, please visit the CareDogs website or email hello@caredogs.org.uk.