Paws for a Cause: Cinnamon Trust

Paws for a Cause: Cinnamon Trust Volunteer

Meet Claire Fry, the Head of Sales and Marketing at Ashberry Healthcare. With a passion for making a positive difference in people’s lives, Claire brings her expertise and heartfelt dedication to every aspect of her role. In her latest contribution to the Ashberry website, Claire shares her personal journey and experiences with the Cinnamon Trust, showcasing her commitment to community engagement and the well-being of elderly individuals and their beloved pets.


“Throughout Covid, I was looking for something positive to do. Having grown up with dogs and recognising that special bond between pet and owner I decided to volunteer.

Over the years I have walked many dogs, ranging from walking a toy poodle called Louie for a couple of weeks while his owner recovered from a fall to walking two rescue dogs, Polly & Charlie, for their terminally ill owner.

Since Covid I have been walking Lucy, a young (4 and a half years old) Lhasa Apso once or twice a week depending on circumstances. Lucy lives in a retirement complex with her owner, Frank, in Northampton. Unfortunately, Frank is not very mobile although he does manage to walk Lucy around the block every day. I am one of a few volunteers who walks Lucy so most days she does get a lengthy walk as well as her ‘round the block’ exercise.

Lucy is a friendly little dog who not only enjoys a spa day but also mud baths and chasing squirrels and pigeons. She is very much a “lady” who walks with her nose in the air and doesn’t have much time for other dogs. When I arrive to collect Lucy for her walk, she is obviously so excited which fills me with great joy. Frank uses a power chair and therefore can only walk Lucy on pavements, so when we walk in the woods and areas where Frank physically can’t take her she thoroughly enjoys herself.

Sadly, our cocker spaniel, Freddie, passed away suddenly during lockdown and volunteering for the trust helped me get over our loss. Current circumstances, which include me having a job that requires me to work away from home regularly, means that having our own dog is not very practical at this stage. Fortunately, I am Grandma to Woody, my son’s dog. Woody is an adorable miniature Labradoodle (no bias obviously!) who I am sure quite a few of you have seen on many team calls making an impromptu appearance. Woody, together with my volunteering for the Cinnamon Trust allows me to have a regular “doggie fix”. It’s a great feeling knowing that you are supporting those in need by doing something you truly love.”

Short Term Fostering

Short-term fostering is available for an older person’s pet if the owner suddenly becomes unable to look after their pet due to a planned operation or an emergency hospital admission for example. Short-term fostering means taking a pet into your own home for some time and caring for them until their owner has recovered.

Long Term Fostering

The Cinnamon Trust offers a profiling service to all owners of pets. This is a pre-arranged written agreement that in the event of the owner passing away or moving into a non-pet-friendly care home pets can be taken on as our own for their lifetime or until a long-term foster home is found.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Cinnamon Trust or getting involved as a volunteer, I encourage you to visit their website at or contact them directly at 01736 757900.

Patrons: Dame Virginia McKenna DBE, Sir Paul McCartney CH MBE

Published On: 10 April 2024 | By |