2022 Winner

Louise Russell


Founded a unique charity to tackle loneliness amongst older adults by helping them adopt rescue animals.

Louise had always volunteered, but dreamed of setting up a charity that would address two issues close to her heart – animal welfare and isolation in older people.

Her big idea was to address the issue of loneliness in the over-60s, by removing some of the financial barriers to adopting a rescue pet.

In 2013, she founded Give a Dog a Bone… and an animal a home. The aim of the charity is to tackle loneliness for older adults via animal companionship. Where money is a genuine barrier, the charity can support towards the rehoming fee of a rescue animal and continue, on an ongoing basis, to help with insurance costs.  

In 2018, Louise expanded the charity’s offering by launching a community space project.

Give a Dog a Bone community spaces are now based in Shawlands, Troon and Alloa – with more planned for the future. 

Each community space operates a Pet Food Bank for those who struggle to feed their pet, as well as free activities for the over 60s, such as Group Dog Walks, Reflexology, Chair Yoga, Art Club and Singing for Wellbeing.  Activities are free, enabling access to all over 60s.  Most importantly, the charity has a team of Companionship Dogs in attendance, each day, allowing those who love animals to spend time with some furry friends.

Through the charity, Louise has helped thousands of animals, and older adults, to have a happier life – together.