As Team J.A.C.K.S get closer to completing the Step Count Challenge, we hear from team member Angharad Davies, Regional Information Officer at the Wales Deanery.
What do you hope to achieve from the Step Count Challenge?
Before this challenge, how active would you have considered yourself?
Before the challenge I would say I was active, but while completing the challenge I realised I had to move a lot more to reach my daily target! I have also had to swop my yoga sessions for walking to make sure I get all of my steps in.
What activities are you doing to achieve the number of steps?
Every day in work I go for a walk at lunchtime and again after work. On the weekend, I volunteer at the Newport dog’s home, so the dogs have been enjoying long walks to help me meet my step target.
When I went on a fortnight’s holiday to Cyprus, I would go for a long walk every day and, if by the evening I needed more steps to reach my target, my boyfriend and I would walk to the local town and be rewarded with a few beverages.
What are you finding difficult about reaching the steps target?
The fact that my job is generally very sedentary is difficult and I find that if I do not do two walks a day, I do not meet my six mile target.
Why are you raising money for Friends of the Dogs?
In January of this year, I became a volunteer dog walker at the dog’s homes in Newport. I absolutely love being able to walk the dogs so they can get some exercise and you get to spend some quality time with them; the dogs love a cuddle and being made a fuss of.
The Friends of the Dogs charity was set up in 2011 to help rehome stray and abandoned dogs. It started in Cardiff and they have since opened another home in Newport. Local authorities only have to look after a dog for 7 days before they’re allowed to ‘dispose’ of them, so this charity funds the care of the dogs until they are rehomed.
The charity organises the volunteer walking scheme to ensure their dogs are all exercised on a regular basis. They also have a fantastic website with pictures and information about the dogs to help them get rehomed. For all rehoming applications they do their utmost to match the right dog to the right home, which is important to prevent the dogs from being returned to the dog’s home if the pairing does not work, which can be very traumatic for the dog.
Friends of the Dogs volunteers undertake behavioural training with the dogs, as well as helping them to become socialised with people and other dogs so they have a better chance of finding a home. The charity also pay for all the vet bills that come in for dogs who have been neglected or badly treated.
All donations go entirely to the care of the dogs, with the charity having no paid staff. Most of the volunteers have full time jobs, their own dogs, children, and other responsibilities and commitments, yet somehow they find time in their busy lives to do something amazing for lost, abandoned, and homeless dogs.
You can donate to Team J.A.C.K.S on their Fundraising Page.