During the event on 22 November 2023, 14 children who have experienced cancer, along with their siblings and families, were able to meet a number of Battersea’s animal residents, including dog Dash and 4-week-old kittens, Esther and Polly, and even watch some of the dogs proudly show off skills they have recently learnt, such as ‘drop it’ and ‘sit’.
Guests were able to meet one of Britain’s best-loved children’s authors and Ambassador for Battersea, Dame Jacqueline Wilson, who was in attendance to meet the children and sign their books. Jacqueline, who rehomed cat Jacob and dog Jackson from Battersea before becoming an Ambassador for the charity, spoke to the children about how she creates ideas for her iconic books, and provided tips to the youngsters on how to write their very own stories. Fashion model, clothing brand founder and Battersea Ambassador, David Gandy also attended the evening with his dog Dora who he rehomed from Battersea.
What’s more, families were also able to decorate their very own festive-themed biscuits under the expert guidance of The Great British Bake Off 2018 finalist, Ruby Bhogal.
Interacting with animals has been proven to reduce stress and provide a source of happiness and well-being for people of all ages. Whether it’s the wagging tail of a dog or the gentle purring of a cat, animals bring joy to people’s lives through their playful companionship and unconditional love.