St Roche was born at a time when inequality was rife and disease was a daily fact of life, in fact he lived and worked throughout the worse of the bubonic plague or the black death and inevitably St Roche contracted the deadly disease.
His other love, other than looking after the most vulnerable of humanity was his love of dogs and he was often found giving them scraps when he had very little himself, this at a time when dogs were viewed as filthy animals.
When lying on his death bed one of St Roche's dogs whom he looked after stayed with him throughout and started licking the diseased sores and wouldn't you know it, St Roche went onto survive all down to the love of a dog.
There are plenty of people who owe their survival to our canine pals within Pawpalz and the wider community and we can think of no other Saint we would invite to be the honorary Patron of our charity and we hope you can all welcome St Roche into our pack.
Below you can access the membership form for download and completion. When you've filled it in please hand to your Walk Leader or alternatively email it to email@example.com.
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Pawpalz was created in 2019 by Toby McKillop after realising the power of mental health peer and animal support while on a walk with the dogs. Through group walks with dogs combined with supportive chats relating to issues of mental wellbeing the charity aims to use the power of peer support and the positive impact of animal buddies to create community support networks, help people to improve their mental wellbeing, increase physical wellbeing and raise mental health awareness.
Currently the charity offers a men’s group and a women’s group in the Ellon, Mintlaw and Peterhead areas who each meet for dog walks twice a week. This has been very successful, and the aim is now to take this model to other areas of Aberdeenshire.
Members have called the groups a life safer, especially during lockdown. They value the groups as safe havens where they can talk about anything and support each other.
“The support you get in this group is priceless. “
“It got me out of the house and meet other people. I look forward to my weekly walks now.”
“I have just done the walk leader training and look forward to facilitating a group.”
Reactions from the wider community have been positive throughout, praising this great model of peer support.