A NORTHWICH charity which helps the elderly by walking their dogs for them has received a funding boost.

Greenbank-based Snow Angels helps older people continue to live independently and keep well, but like many other organisations, the way it operates has changed during the coronavirus, with its workload doubling in recent weeks.

The charity has since been the beneficiary of Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Community Response Fund, which has already distributed grants totalling more than £170,000 to around 40 community initiatives.

And by working with the Virtual Community Hub recently set up by the council, more elderly people have been referred to Snow Angels for support with things like dog walking, befriending calls, shopping and prescriptions.

Cathy Boyd, Snow Angels director, said: “We originally started to support older people during the winter, so our service was designed to be managed remotely.

“Since then, we have provided services throughout the year and the original principles remain of providing support to enable people to continue to live independently in their own homes and reduce social isolation.

“The difference now is that we’re not able to do any face-to-face delivery and we’ve had to scale up everything we do in a really short space of time.

“All our partners have been brilliant and the funding from the council has helped us put some of these changes in place.

“The extra funding means we’ve been able to keep in touch with those people who need our support.”

Snow Angels’ offer to walk people’s dogs has been a big help for some residents as they know their pets are keeping active and being looked after.

One elderly resident said: “The man from Snow Angels has been an absolute star. He has walked Beau every day since last Tuesday.

“I hadn’t expected him to come every day, but he tells me when he will be available the following day and is always very pleasant, upbeat and punctual.

“Beau now looks out for and recognises his car. He adores him.”

Any voluntary organisation, community group, small charity or not-for-profit-organisation in west Cheshire can apply for funding by emailing chesterlocality@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk.