Ready, steady, woof! Dogs and their humans are taking the lead once again, to wag, wiggle and ultimately walk a marathon – 26.2 miles, to raise money for St Mungo’s, the leading homeless charity, throughout August.
The event which is in its third year, can be done by p’awsome two and four legged fundraisers at their own pace, in their local area and during their own time, in order to complete the distance.
Having a furry face taking the lead for fundraising is important for St Mungo’s as one of the only homelessness charities in England with pet friendly hostels. The charity understands that because of the incredibly powerful emotional support they provide; no-one should face giving up their pet in order to gain a home.
However, research by the University of Nottingham has revealed that currently, only 7% of private landlords advertise pet-friendly properties and just 36.8% of homelessness organisations provide services for pets, meaning far too many people who are sleeping rough remain on the streets for an increased period of time, due to the lack of suitable accommodation for both themselves and their pet.
All money raised will go towards St Mungo’s work supporting people who are experiencing homelessness to begin their journey to recovery and rebuild their lives.
Enza, St Mungo’s client said: “I am so grateful to St Mungo’s for allowing dogs into their hostels; it has saved my life. I know I would still be sleeping rough if this was not the case as there was no way I would give up my dog for any flat, she is my family.
“I turned down accommodation before as they would not allow me to take my dog with me. St Mungo’s helped me turn my life around and now I am in my own flat and even have a new puppy too.”
Lucy Siegle, TV presenter and dog mum. “I am delighted to be supporting St Mungo’s and their Take the Lead campaign. I have two dogs myself and they mean the world. No one should be rough sleeping in this society, and no one should have to be separated from their dog so it is fantastic that St Mungo’s allows dogs in their hostels. I would encourage everyone to team up with their dog and get involved in this campaign. Let’s do all we can to help St Mungo’s Take the Lead’.
Petra Salva, Director of Rough Sleeping, Westminster and Migrant Services at St Mungo’s said: “I am delighted that we are hosting Take the Lead for a third year running. My dog, Nero, and I took part together the last two years and had a brilliant time, so I look forward to taking on the challenge with him again this year, whilst most importantly, raising money to end homelessness.
“Our clients’ pets are a huge support and comfort to them, sometimes their only companion, and it is heart breaking that whilst people are already going through such a difficult time, they may also be separated from their pets because they don’t have a solid place to call home.
“That is why it is so important that St Mungo’s reduces such barriers for those people in accepting pets into our hostels and helping the person on their journey to recovery.”
For more information about Take the Lead, visit https://takethelead.mungos.org/.
Once registered, fundraisers can expect a Mungo’s t-shirt and dog lead. On raising £50, they will be sent a dog bandana and all those who raise more than £150, will receive a much coveted doggie bag.
Check out @StMungos on Instagram for more info.