Wednesday, 19 June 2024
UK Charity Week 2024 - Sponsored by Sinclair Method UK
Wednesday, 19 June 2024

Dr Patel reveals the UK charities now benefiting from the 2023 BetterWithPets Prize

Dr Amit Patel is a qualified doctor, bestselling author, and disability rights campaigner. Here he talks about his involvement in the 2023 BetterwithPets Prize and the winning charities: 

Those of you that know me will be aware that I am registered severely sight impaired (blind), since losing my sight to keratoconus back in 2013.  

In the first days and months after losing my sight I was so dependent on the people around me, but I’m now back to being confident and most importantly, independent too – thanks to my guide dog Kika.

Kika isn’t just my guide dog, she is my companion and my loyal friend – I would be lost without her. As a result, I am hugely passionate about the power of the pet-human bond and was delighted to partner with Purina earlier this year to help raise awareness of the pet brand’s 2023 BetterwithPets Prize. 

The Purina BetterWithPets Prize identifies and supports organisations across Europe that harness the power of the pet-human bond and welcomed applications from organisations that work with pets to improve the health and well-being of individuals and/or society at large. 

Entrants were in with a chance to win a share of the total £175,000 prize pot – crucial funding and resources to help continue to make a greater positive impact on the lives of individuals, pets and their communities.

I’m now delighted to talk about the two UK charities that are among the three winners of the Purina BetterWithPets Prize, whittled down from a shortlist of more than 110 organisations across Europe

Pets As Therapy and StreetVet, along with the Spanish organisation Center de Teràpies Assistides amb Cans, all scooped the top spots, being recognised for setting standards and best practices in fostering people’s health and well-being through the power of the pet-human bond.

Pets As Therapy was awarded for its work in providing visits from therapy pets to help support people who might be struggling with loneliness or mental health issues in a number of settings across the UK including hospitals, care homes and prisons.

Pets as Therapy volunteers and their pets make a real difference in people’s lives day in and day out, from providing comfort to someone suffering from dementia to helping to alleviate loneliness. I can’t wait to see how they use the Prize fund to grow and help more people.

StreetVet was awarded for its free and essential veterinary care for the pets of those experiencing homelessness on Britain’s streets. As someone who now relies on a guide dog for independence and security, I know first-hand the difference having a pet can make. 

A previous winner of the BetterWithPets Prize, StreetVet has gone on to do amazing things, including developing an accredited hostel scheme for homeless people and their pets. To win the Prize again just shows how far they’ve come. I can’t wait to see how they continue to grow and maximise their impact.

Spanish organisation Center de Teràpies Assistides amb Cans was also awarded for its work providing animal-assisted interventions to help people in hospitals and in socially compromised situations.

The BetterwithPets Prize initiative builds on Purina’s new commitment to help 1,000,000 people in vulnerable situations improve their health and well-being by 2030. 

If you know a deserving organisation doing something incredible with animals, keep an eye on the website for the latest information on the BetterWithPets Prize. To find out more about this year’s Purina’s BetterWithPets Prize winners, click here.

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