AN East Renfrewshire charity which uses four-legged friends to tackle loneliness among older people is in line for a pair of prestigious awards.

Give a Dog a Bone supports those who are experiencing isolation by matching them with rescued animals.

Now the worthy cause has been shortlisted in the Pioneering Project and Celebrating Communities categories at this year’s Scottish Charity Awards.

Run annually by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, the awards are open to any voluntary organisation, charity, community group or individual volunteer or staff member and aim to celebrate the life-changing work they do.

Give a Dog a Bone was launched by Louise Russell in November 2013 and, since then, has helped to rehome more than 300 cats and dogs with peopled aged over 60 who were looking for companionship.

Louise is hoping that being nominated for two prestigious awards will help raise awareness of Give a Dog a Bone, allowing her to expand the services it provides.

She said: “To be shortlisted in not one but two categories at the Scottish Charity Awards is testament to the life-changing work Give a Dog a Bone brings to communities.

“We are growing fast and have no plans to slow down. My hope is that, by raising awareness of Give a Dog a Bone and the work that we do, we can raise the funds necessary to further expand our services into new communities.”

Louise, from Clarkston, is no stranger to success, having won the Amazing Community Contribution prize at the No.1 magazine Amazing Women Awards earlier this year.

In 2015, she received the Prime Minister’s Point of Light Award and, a year later, Give a Dog a Bone was the winner of the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s Community Award.

Several of the charity’s service users have described its work as life-changing, creating an opportunity for them to get out and socialise or finding them companionship by giving a home to a rescued animal.

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