Main Contact: Karen Steele – Marketing and Partnerships Manager
Tel: 02920 683 604 / 07584 346 015

For immediate release: Thursday 8th April 2021

There are a reported 1.2 million chronically lonely older people in the UK*. Recent studies have sadly found that the impact of COVID-19 and associated lockdowns have resulted in a huge increase in loneliness amongst older people**. The lack of social connections is a risk factor for early death comparable to smoking 15 cigarettes a day and is worse for our health than obesity and physical inactivity*.

Recognising this stark reality, local charity Age Connects Cardiff & the Vale and award-winning Burns Pets Nutrition have partnered together to tackle loneliness.

Age Connects Cardiff & the Vale has been supporting vulnerable and isolated older people living in our local communities for over four decades. The charity’s team of staff and volunteers deliver vital services on the ground and have seen first-hand that loyal pets can make a positive contribution to health and general well-being – providing a sense of purpose, companionship and encouraging exercise.

Karen Steele, Age Connects Marketing and Partnerships Manager explains “our charity resources are stretched delivering vital services to those isolated and in need. Far too many vulnerable older people are facing loneliness and the serious health issues this can bring. We are thrilled to have support from Burns Pet Nutrition, who have always put community at the forefront of all they do. We look forward to fundraising together and raising awareness of the plight that many older people face every day”.

This sentiment is re-iterated by Burns founder and vet surgeon, John Burns: “We are all moved by the vital work that Age Connects Cardiff & the Vale carries out. They are a local Welsh charity we really want to support. We feel there is much synergy between our organisations as for many older people who live alone, having a pet is a great way to feel less isolated and more integrated.”

Moving forward throughout 2021, the teams at both Age Connects and Burns plan to do their utmost to raise much-needed funds to support the local charity’s work. Restrictions permitting, it is hoped to run community events as well as joint marketing campaigns, to act as a voice for older people and promote the benefits that responsible pet care can offer to help combat loneliness.


For further information, please contact Karen Steele on tel: 02920 683 604 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Notes to the Editor:

Research sources: *Campaign to End Loneliness and **

Age Connects Cardiff & the Vale is the operating title of Age Concern Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. Age Connects Cardiff & the Vale is an independent local and independently-run charity that has been providing services for older people since 1974, reaching out to older people in the region, many of whom live alone, are physically frail and live below the poverty line.