DOG walkers and their canine friends united on a trek at Kielder Water and Forest Park on Sunday, September 23 to support a Hexham charity’s work in reducing loneliness in the region’s older people.

Wag & Company North East Friendship Dogs, the only visiting dog charity to befriend elderly neighbours in their own homes as well as in care across the region, welcomed 116 walkers, 77 dogs and 10 children to its third annual Kielder walk, and raised around £10,000.

The charity was joined by Northumbria Police Dog Section, ukelele players the Hexham Uketeers, a face painter.

Launched in 2016, the charity now has 221 professionally assessed volunteers who, with their special dogs, are making people smile across the North East.

Diane Morton, charity director, said: “The atmosphere on the day was great, everyone came together to have a bit of fun, chat to people who benefit from our service and raise money to enable more and more volunteers and their special dogs to visit elderly people across our region.”

There was also a raffle, including prizes such as a box with corporate hospitality at the Newcastle Falcons and the Newcastle Eagles, and a Barbour jacket, and the very special handmade ‘Wag hats by Sheila’ were available to purchase.

Diane added: “We can’t thank everyone who was involved enough – the walkers, our volunteers who marshalled, manned stalls, photography and videography, sold raffle tickets and much more.

"Also, a huge thanks to the team at Kielder Waterside for providing so much help and support. We’re already planning Walk for Wag 2019.”