Dogs to ‘take the lead’ for Fourth Consecutive Year to Raise Money for Homeless Charity

St. Mungo’s supports people experiencing homelessness by helping to rebuild their lives

It’s that time of year again when Westie owners need to take furry friends for a marathon (26 miles) or ultra-marathon (50 miles) walk to raise vital funds for St Mungo’s, the leading homeless charity, throughout August. 

The Take the Lead 2023 event can be done by p’awsome two and four-legged fundraisers at their own pace, in their local area and during their own time. 

The event has grown quickly since it was introduced during the pandemic, from 132 dog walkers raising £19,340 in 2020, to 326 dog walkers raising nearly £34,000 last year. St Mungo’s want to smash that target by raising over £40,000 next month.  

All money raised will go towards St Mungo’s work supporting people who are experiencing homelessness to begin their journey to recovery and rebuild their lives. 

Having a furry face ‘taking the lead’ for fundraising is important for St Mungo’s as one of the only homelessness charities in England with pet-friendly hostels. The charity understands the powerful emotional support that dogs provide, and no-one should face giving up their pet in order to gain a home. 

As recently reported, private landlords can advertise their lettings to say pets are not permitted in their properties. The BBC found that 73% of sampled listings on the online agent, OpenRent, said tenants with pets were not welcome, compared with 6% on Zoopla. 

This means far too many people who are sleeping rough remain on the streets for an increased period of time, due to the lack of suitable accommodation for themselves and their pet. 

Manuela, a dog owner and client of St Mungo’s, said: “I’ve been at a St Mungo’s hostel since December with my dog Ronnie.  I feel recharged here and have privacy. I think it’s absolutely beautiful they let pets in as that is very important. It’s been a blessing. I’m a lot more positive here then I was before. 

“I just want to say thank you to St Mungo’s for being here for me and for having this facility so that I’ve had a chance to come out of homelessness.” 

Once registered, fundraisers will receive a St Mungo’s t-shirt and mile tracker to help get them started. On raising £50, they will be sent a dog bandana and all those who raise more than £150 will be entered into a prize draw to win exciting prizes, like tickets to DogFest 2023. 

St Mungo’s is asking supporters to share Take the Lead 2023 images and updates throughout the month to share on social media using the hashtag #MungosTakethelead. 

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