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PawPalz is raring to go again

By Kirsty Brown

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A group which aims to support the mental health of men in the local area is diversifying how it operates to allow the service to resume as soon as possible.

PawPalz North East was set up earlier this year as an informal way to encourage men to come together with some four legged friends and support each other while enjoying the outdoors.

Organiser Toby McKillop - who was inspired to start something after realising the therapeutic power of his own dog Ebby when he himself was struggling - was blown away by the response from men in the north-east.

As the country went into lockdown, however, the men were no longer able to come together safely and PawPalz was forced to cease it's weekly get togethers.

As the restrictions start to ease, however, Toby has started look at how he and Ebby can start boosting their peers who are feeling a bit down or lonely.

To ensure that his reinstatement plans are as safe as possible Toby has been communicating with authorities.

Amongst the things they are looking at are the option for 'one to one' socially distanced walks, as well as multiple group sessions to reduce numbers and ensure social distancing can be maintained.

Typically walks have taken place in Ellon's Macdonald Park on a Saturday, with men bringing along their dog if they wished or just sharing the joy of the other dogs attending.

Any men over the age of 16 who would like to join a mental health walk - either individually or as part of a small group - with Toby and Ebby can contact Toby privately through the PawPalz Facebook page, and full confidentiality will be maintained.

To keep up with all of the latest from PawPalz - including when walks will be taking place - visit their Facebook page or join the PawPalz Facebook group.

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