Founded a unique charity to tackle loneliness among the elderly by matching them with rescue animals.

Louise worked in the corporate world for almost two decades before deciding she wanted to do something different and give back. She realised she could address the issue of loneliness in the over 60’s by pairing them with rescue pets which need rehoming.

After a period of volunteering Louise founded the charity Give a Dog a Bone. The intention is to help older people unable to afford a pet to benefit from the love of an animal. If people choose to rehome an animal from a shelter, the charity can pay for all associated rehoming fees, whilst providing on-going monthly support with pet food costs. They will also support the elderly with their existing pets, helping with monthly pet food and insurance costs if they are facing financial barriers.

Since Louise, 47, from East Renfrewshire, launched the charity in 2013, it has helped rehome more than 300 dogs. She has also developed three community spaces where retired people can make new friends, learn new skills and mix with dogs. People can pop in for a cup of tea and a chat or take part in free activities ranging from yoga to Spanish lessons.

Louise said: “We have big dreams to grow the charity to reach more people, and rescue animals, who need our help, and to bring about real change in local Communities.”

She added: “It’s lovely to be honoured in this way and I hope it will help it will shed more light on the work we do at Give a Dog a Bone. It’s a real team effort and I wouldn’t be able to operate the service I do without a wonderful team of staff and volunteers behind me.”