Rescue dogs brought their own brand of festive cheer to elderly residents in Sheffield this week - as ‘Santa Paws’ came to town.
The cute canine – wearing a special yuletide jumper - delivered an early Christmas present to older people living at the Cherry Tree Common sheltered housing accommodation in Nether Edge as they were enjoying a coffee morning.
The visit from friendly pooch Autumn, along with volunteers from the Rain Rescue animal charity in Wickersley, Rotherham, was the latest in a varied programme of activities held in council-run sheltered housing schemes.
Charity staff and council leaders said the scheme helps to reduce loneliness among older people and helps to ensure they stay active later in life.
Lauren Sanderson, deputy manager at Rain Rescue animal charity, said: “We are delighted to work with Sheffield Council to bring dogs back into people’s lives.
“It’s a fact that dogs can enrich the lives of those living in isolation, suffering from dementia or just those who miss having a dog around.
“We hope our visits gave residents something special to look forward to.’’
Councillor Jayne Dunn, cabinet member for housing at Sheffield City Council, said: “We run events and activities for people living in sheltered housing to help them get out and about, and mixing with other people.
“This is all aimed at tackling loneliness and isolation.
“I hope the visit brought lots of smiles and festive cheer to everyone at Cherry Tree Common.”
There are nearly 50 animals currently in the care of Rain Rescue who need rehousing. Visit www.rainrescue.co.uk