Pawpalz Peer Support Service, registered charity SC051061
Pawpalz was created by Toby McKillop after realising the power of peer support while on a walk with the mutts.
I woke up contemplating suicide, I felt as if I’d reached the end of my resilience towards the hurt I was feeling and that there was only one option left😢.
Ebz and myself can see Bennachie from our cottage and something about that mountain on that day was calling us. I said out loud to ebby “we are climbing that mountain today and when we get to the top we are going to let the wind blow away all the bad and we will come down feeling better”.
This selfie was taken at the top of Bennachie and it encapsulates exactly how I was feeling, on top of the world with my pal by my side!! Being in recovery I really noticed the change in how I was feeling, from suicidal despair to just plain joy, I started thinking about why this was working for me, the dogs, nature, the peace and just enjoying the moment.
By the time we reached the bottom of Bennachie the beginnings of an idea called Pawpalz had formed in my head, what had just worked for me, what had just brought me back from the brink, might just work for others I thought.
This day will always be hugely significant for me, I’d had enough of the pain and hurt, I’d had enough of feeling alone, I’d had enough, but whether it was serendipity or just plain luck, that walk up Bennachie saved my life and inspired an idea that continues to have the same effect on many others as it had on me that day!!
We are now holding regular walks in and around Ellon, Mintlaw and Peterhead. Why not come along and join us, be part of the Pack. Being part of a Pack, we are stronger than on our own.
Our dates, locations and times are updated on Facebook.
The Trustees have dedicated email addresses if you wish to contact us on any specific area of Pawpalz:-
firstname.lastname@example.org and development of Pawpalz
email@example.com organisation and management
firstname.lastname@example.org of Pawpalz members
email@example.com and governance
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not sure, want to know more, then Contact Us below or send us a message via our Facebook page.
Want to make a donation then why not pop in to your bank or go online and make a donation direct to our account at Bank of Scotland
Follow us on Social Media for the latest Pawpalz news and walk details
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.