Welsh winners play ‘Santa Paws’ at pet food bank

A group of National Lottery winners has played ‘Santa Paws’ by mucking in to help a Welsh pet food bank get ready for a busy festive season.

Cariad Pet Therapy – a National Lottery-funded community interest company – works with 50 volunteers who take dogs to visit residential care homes, schools, hospital wards, isolated and elderly people, as well as workplaces across west and south Wales. Since January 2021, the project has also operated a pet food bank for people struggling to afford meals for their furry friends.

The team of volunteer winners arrived at Cariad Pet Therapy ready to get stuck in. They parcelled up donated pet food, restocked shelves and met some of the people who have benefitted from the service.

The pandemic has put extra financial strain on many households and so far Cariad has donated just under 70,000 meals for animals in need.

The National Lottery winners who visited Cariad included Chris and Geraldine Bradley from Carmarthen whose grandfather, Bob, won £3.6Million in 2006. Also helping out was Nigel Willetts from Caerphilly, who won £1Million in 2014, and Richard and Faye Davies from Brecon who won £1Million in 2018.

Faye said, “As a mental health nurse, I have seen first-hand the impact pets can have on people’s mental well-being so organisations like Cariad are vital in ensuring people stay well, especially when times are tough. It was also great to meet with other winners and have a proper catch up, while doing our bit for this lovely charity. We’ve got 2 dogs and I know that we’d be lost without them so I think what Cariad does is really important.”

Nigel said, “Getting out and about, seeing the good causes that players of The National Lottery help to fund is one of the highlights of being a National Lottery winner, so it felt really good to be back in the community again.”

Cariad Pet Therapy was founded by volunteers Rob Thomas and his wife Chrissie. The project has twice benefitted from National Lottery funding. In January 2020 it received £9,480 for its Dogs on Your Doorstep project and in September 2020 it was awarded £6,600 towards a scheme to donate 35 robot pets to people with dementia in care homes.

Rob said, “We are so grateful to the National Lottery winners for their generous pet food donation which means that we are well stocked for the festive season and hopefully well into the New Year. It was great that they were able to come along to the pet food bank and see for themselves where the donations will go and how it all works.”

17th December 2021

The National Lottery has been changing the lives of winners and supporting good causes across the UK since 1994. In that time, there have been more than 7,000 new millionaires created and by playing The National Lottery you raise over £4 million for Good Causes every dayΔ.

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