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This volunteer project aims to give dog owners peace of mind that their beloved canine companion receives regular ‘walkies’ to keep them happy and healthy.

The scheme is proving a big hit with students coming forward to get involved and the group is keen to hear from dog owners who would benefit from the service.

The project is run by Event Management students Megan Hassall and Emily Gould who are both animal lovers, with support from the University’s volunteering team.

Megan said: “We both run the project from looking after its marketing to answering emails and actually walking dogs. We thought the idea was such a good one as it helps not only the community but the students who may be missing their own pets at home.

“Everyone we have spoken to so far say it’s a fabulous idea.”

Emily added: “It’s enjoyable for the students as it is an hour a week to walk a dog with another student who they might not have met before. It’s lovely exercise as well as giving the opportunity to make new friends and it’s beneficial to the owners who may be housebound due to injury or illness.

“It’s a free service and we hope it will help to develop bonds between the students and the community.”

All the interested students attend a training session to learn more about dog behaviour, leash handling and health and safety training – as well as the very important instruction to always clear up any potential dog mess!

Jo Morison, Mentoring Project Officer in Student Futures at the University of Chester, said:

“Chester Student Dog Walkers is one of our student-led volunteer projects, which have launched this academic year. The University Volunteering team within Student Futures ensures that we have provided the project leaders with the skills and resources to lead their projects and its student volunteers. This dog walking project was set up to provide students with the opportunity to make a positive – or ‘paws’itive! - impact on the community, and it has been fantastic to see the project grow through the recruitment of its first canine clients! The team recently supported Emily and Megan to provide volunteers with their training, so we are looking forward to seeing the volunteers start their weekly dog walks.”

If you are elderly or unable to walk your dog due to ill-health (long or short term) please contact studentdogwalkers@chester.ac.uk for more information.

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