Tails to tell from St Francis Hospice Woofs and Wellies fundraiser

Hundreds of dogs of all sizes and breeds and their owners took the lead to boost funds for St Francis Hospice.

Around 370 people and pooches joined the third Woofs and Wellies sponsored dog walk at Hainault Forest, in Redbridge, last Sunday (April 15), raising around �10,000 for patient care.

Highlights of the day include demonstrations from the Delta Dog Display Team and Essex Flyball Team.

Owners could have a go at the agility course with their pets.

There was also a Companion Dog Show, which saw animals winning prizes and rosettes.

Azhar Iqbal, who co-owns Catwalk Pets and Aquatics, in High Street, Barkingside, provided free grooming and sold pet products. He supported the event as his dad Malik Iqbal Hussain received care as an inpatient at the Havering-atte-Bower based hospice before he sadly died last April.

Among the people who took part in the 3.5km walk was Julia Bettles, from Romford, with her husband Mark and children Aimee and Conner, along with dog Jaspa.

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Julie said: “This is the first time we have joined the hospice dog walk and it was brilliant. A relative was cared for by St Francis Hospice and the nurses made her feel comfortable. We decided to take part in the walk to say thank you and do our bit to help.”

Megan Drew, from Romford, who went along with her dog Dexter, 10 family friends and their five dogs, said: “It was good fun and I hope to join in the next dog walk later in the year with more people.” Megan’s mum Sian attends the day hospice where she can get access to a range of medical care and emotional support that can help her cope with her illness.

Back for the third time were the Jones family, from Havering-atte-Bower, with their dog Harvey and Philippa Bennet and John Birnie, from Romford, brought along Havanese dogs Chula and 10-week-old Deni. Philippa said: “It was a good walk, we were lucky with the weather and it was nice to see so many dogs and their owners out supporting a worthy cause as Saint Francis Hospice.”

Another sponsored dog walk Wags and Tails is planned at Ingatestone Hall, Brentwood, on September 16.

If you would like to find out more www.sfh.org.uk email fundraising@sfh.org.uk or call 01708 771427.

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