We continue to face the challenge of social distancing and isolating, at home and at work. Many of us are unable to work, whether volunteering or employed, and are unable to see our family and friends. This can be very lonely and depressing for us as we are normally social beings. It is even more important to continue to come together online or on the phone to support one another. We also all need something special to look forward to, giving us the motivation to get up and get on with life the best we can.

So why don’t we do another unprecedented activity for our charity? Let’s have a Canine Concern COVID safe tea party! Join us for a cuppa as we celebrate our volunteers and their life changing dogs, who help so many people with their calm and friendly presence.

This year, February is a good month for us to organise this event for. We have the Chinese New Year on the 12th February, this year being the year of the Ox (an animal that symbolises strength and determination). It is also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival. It starts from the beginning of spring, marking the end of winter and the start of a new year on the first new moon of the year. This represents the desire for a new life, an ancient theory which is more than 5,000 years old. As well as the elaborate dragon processions, fireworks and the giving of Ang Pows (lucky red envelopes), which unfortunately won’t be happening this year, the Chinese New Year is a time of grand, lavish celebrations with your family and friends and is usually based around a large family reunion dinner with beautiful food and green tea.

Then there is Valentine’s Day, also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, on the 14th February, when we celebrate the love we have for each other. The 16th February is Shrove Tuesday (known in some countries as Pancake Day preceding Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent), which is celebrated in some countries by consuming pancakes. Some also know it as Mardi Gras which is a carnival day, and also the last day of ‘fat eating’ or ‘gorging’ before the fasting period of Lent. The 27th February at 8.17am is also a full moon, often called Snow or Storm moon. (I hope we won’t get any more storms!)

Join us for a weekend of virtual Tea Parties to raise funds for Canine Concern

It is also a month of special birthdays. Not only is the 21st February Savannah, my Canine Concern care dog’s birthday, but it’s also a special month for Canine Concern. On 28th February 1988, 33 years ago, Eve started a small group consisting of herself and 21 owners and their dogs to visit schools, care homes and hospitals to give comfort. This was registered as a charity on 13th June 1989. Then on 27th February 2018, 3 years ago, the charity evolved to become a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation). We have steadily grown into a lovely, supportive family, so as a family, let’s have a traditional British pastime of enjoying a good old cuppa together.

To take part, all you’ll need to do is get the kettle on and have your camera at the ready. Even better, with the trend for baking, why don’t you make some delicious cakes, so you can share selfies drinking a cuppa and maybe eating a mouth-watering cake (if you aren’t happy to photograph yourself, just the cuppa and cake would do good, or if you are giving up treats for Lent then just the cuppa). These photos can be emailed to . We will then choose the best ones to put in our news section on the website and share on our social media sites. So, your cuppa could soon be famous!