861. Bronagh O'Neill
Bronagh O’Neill, from Bangor, Northern Ireland, is the founder of ‘Rosie’s Trust’, a charity that allows people undergoing cancer treatment, diagnosed with a terminal illness or facing advancing age to keep their pets.
Recognising the importance of pets for emotional wellbeing and combatting social isolation, Bronagh created a charity offering services such as dog-walking, visits to vets, and temporary foster care if their owner requires hospital treatment. Since establishing ‘Rosie’s Trust’ in 2015, Bronagh has built up a team of over 80 volunteers carrying out more than 1,400 visits a year across Belfast and County Down and raising £16,000 through community fundraising events. The charity was awarded a Big Lottery Fund grant this year of nearly £500,000, allowing Bronagh to expand her team of volunteers across Northern Ireland.
In a personal letter to Bronagh, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Through ‘Rosie’s Trust’ you are not only helping people to look after their beloved pets while they are in hospital but also helping to combat social isolation and improve emotional wellbeing. You should be remarkably proud of securing a grant of nearly £500,000 and the positive impact this will have on patients, and the pets they hold dear to them, across Northern Ireland.”
“I am delighted that the work of ‘Rosie’s Trust’ is being recognised by the Prime Minister’s Points of Light award. A huge thank you to all the volunteers in ‘Rosie’s Trust’ who really do go the extra mile for all our beneficiaries both human and animal – keeping owners and pets together!”