I am pleased to be supporting the leading pet charity, Blue Cross – to find and crown Wales’ most loyal pet. We know that our pets have been a lifeline for many during the lockdown and have bought much needed positivity and happiness.
The Office for National Statistics notes that in the year ending March 2020 ratings of life satisfaction and happiness in the UK decreased, with people across the UK reporting higher levels of anxiety and declined well-being and happiness levels. It is well documented that the coronavirus pandemic and a range of social distancing measures enforced from March 2020 has placed increased pressure on mental health and wellbeing on people across the world. This has not only worsened existing mental health conditions but also caused the development of mental illnesses as a result of the effects of the pandemic, with many experiencing mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression for the first time. Public Health Wales have documenting that the number Welsh Citizens are feeling lonely and isolated as a result of the effects of the pandemic continues to rise.
For those of us who are pet owners or have enjoyed companionship with someone else’s pet, we know the impact this can have on our mental health and in raising our spirits. Research by Blue Cross in their report “A link in the chain”, outlines the “hugely beneficial role pets play in our lives”. The impact of our pets on our mental health has been confirmed by the UK Mental Health Foundation who have highlighted how pets can improve mental health illnesses such as depression, anxiety, reduce feelings of loneliness and encourage socialisation and exercise to encourage an all-round healthier lifestyle.
If you feel that your or someone that you know has had improved wellbeing as a result of the companionship of a pet, then please get involved in this competition for the chance to win a personalised pet hamper for this loyal companion. A submission should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by the 25th of January and should include an image of the pet which has supported you or someone you know through the coronavirus pandemic as well as no more than 500 words describing how this pet has provided wellbeing support.
I look forward reading your submissions about the positive impact these companion animals have had over the pandemic!