Ed­i­tor’s com­ment

EADT Suffolk - - INSIDE - suf­folkcf.org.uk/gimme-5chal­lenge JAYNE LINDILL, Ed­i­tor, EADT Suf­folk jayne.lindill@eadt.co.uk

Idon’t know about you but things have been slightly on the huh of late. Lock­down has been a trou­ble-free and even en­joy­able time in our home. The ‘of­fice’ has had a rather over­due spring clean, our re­fur­bish­ment pro­gramme has pro­gressed and we’ve got to know more of our neigh­bours, at least at weekly com­mu­nal clap­ping level. And tech­nol­ogy that ac­tu­ally works has been in­valu­able when it comes to keep­ing work and busi­ness go­ing.

So­cial dis­tanc­ing is. . . well, a bit odd. Don’t get me wrong – I com­pletely agree with the need to keep our dis­tance to avoid spread­ing po­ten­tially lethal and life lim­it­ing dis­eases, Covid-19 or any other virus come to that. And we’re a long way from be­ing able to freely meet and greet like we did pre-March 23. But noth­ing takes the place of face to face, hu­man to hu­man com­mu­ni­ca­tion and that’s some­thing most of us have been miss­ing. We can meet again, al­beit in a lim­ited way, and that feels like a step in the right di­rec­tion.

One of the things that’s kept our house­hold feel­ing some­thing like ‘nor­mal’ dur­ing lock­down is our four-legged mem­ber of the fam­ily. Harry, our five-year-old Labrador re­triever, has been obliv­i­ous to the global cri­sis go­ing on around him. And that’s been re­mark­ably sooth­ing. It’s been re­as­sur­ing to be part of his un­changed rou­tine – wak­ing up every day with the knowl­edge that there will be two lots of walkies (us tak­ing it in turns un­til things were re­laxed a bit), the usual de­li­cious doggy menu un­af­fected by panic buy­ing, and the ex­cit­ing daily ap­pear­ance of the post­man/woman (thank you, Felixs­towe PO).

I be­lieve many, many other Suf­folk (and UK) house­holds have been just as grate­ful for the com­fort of their pets, es­pe­cially dogs. You only have to take a look at so­cial me­dia to see just what a source of fun, hu­mour, en­ter­tain­ment and af­fec­tion dogs have pro­vided dur­ing lock­down as peo­ple post pic­tures and videos of their an­tics. They’re a proven ben­e­fit to our phys­i­cal and men­tal well­be­ing.

So, this is­sue we de­cided to pay trib­ute to Suf­folk’s dogs – to in­vite some own­ers to share their pic­tures and sto­ries, to meet Brainy Dogs that help hu­mans and Troy the rookie po­lice dog, and a cou­ple de­voted to giv­ing dogs the per­fect stay­ca­tion.

Our fea­ture is also prompted by the fact that July would have been the month for Suf­folk Dog Day, when thou­sands of peo­ple and their dogs flock to Helm­ing­ham Hall for a day of fun and fundrais­ing for Suf­folk Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion. SCF is a key or­gan­i­sa­tion for the county, help­ing to change lives through en­abling phi­lan­thropy, and man­ag­ing grant­mak­ing funds and foun­da­tions. Dog Day, held every year, has raised more than £500,000 for Suf­folk char­i­ties and can­cel­la­tion of the 2020 event, due to Covid-19, means a loss of around £50K in fundrais­ing for Suf­folk char­i­ties just at a time when they need it most.

So, SCF has come up with an on­line event in­stead of Dog Day which har­nesses the ‘paw power’ of dogs and their own­ers in Suf­folk. Dog lovers are be­ing asked to rise to the #Gimme5 Chal­lenge in sup­port of vul­ner­a­ble Suf­folk young peo­ple. It’s re­ally sim­ple. Go for a 5k walk with your dog, make a do­na­tion of £5 on the Just Giv­ing page, then tag five friends on so­cial me­dia to do the same. Why not give it a go? You’ll be do­ing that dog walk any­way…

ABOVE: Ed­i­tor of Suf­folk Mag­a­zine Jayne Lindill with her dog Harry on Felixs­towe beach

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