Wilko has announced that it’s now welcoming four-legged friends inside over 200 of its stores across the UK for the first time.
The home and gardens retailer says it understands that “a pet is more than just a pet, they’re family”, which is why furry friends, on their leads if applicable, are now able browse all areas of the 248 participating stores (except for food aisles) following a successful trial period at two UK locations.
“We hope that shoppers will enjoy bringing their furry friends along with them,” Wilko said in a statement on its social media platforms yesterday.
Wilko explained that the participating stores allowing pets inside are primarily those with their own on-street entrance and exit, rather than those that are, for example, located in shopping centres that may not allow any animal guests, or where the entrance isn’t pet-friendly.
Signage at store entrances will make it clear if pets are welcome, although customers can also check with the store team if they are unsure.
All service dogs and Guide Dogs are, of course, welcome at all stores nationwide.
Wilko says that it expects most of the pet customers will be either dogs or cats, and these four-legged shoppers are likely to find many products in-store that “get their tails wagging”.
The retailer stocks everything from pet food and treats, to bedding, toys, cleaning supplies, healthy pet essentials, and even presents, costumes and accessories during key seasonal celebrations.
For other animal “family members”, Wilko is also home to reptile, bird, and fish pet supplies too.
It’s fair to say that the public reaction to the announcement has been mixed though.
One concerned parent commented on Wilko’s Facebook post saying: “This is no good for my child that has anaphylaxis reactions to animal dander and saliva. Service dogs have their place in stores and we can avoid them and monitor, they are well behaved etc [but] pets do not belong in stores and raises the risk for my son to come in contact with areas that have been contaminated.”
“We won’t be shopping in your all dogs welcome stores,” they concluded.
Another concerned shopper raised a similar point: “That’s ok if they are well behaved [but] I have a Guide Dog and find yaps on straps are enough of a pain outside the shops, so it’s going to be very interesting in a confined space down an aisle.
“My dog doesn’t want to talk to your dog, he’s working,” they said, and added: “Guide Dogs can get very stressed if a little dog is yapping around their legs.”
While there has been a fair amount of backlash and customers announcing that they will boycott the stores where pets are welcome, other shoppers have been complementary of the move Wilko has taken.
“Brilliant, I wish all shops would do this,” one shopper said.
Wilko is yet to formally comment on the backlash by customers threatening to boycott the store.
Featured Image – Wilko
Cheadle care home asks locals to take their dogs to its ‘Canine Café’ next week to cheer up residents
A Greater Manchester care home is calling on locals to take their dogs down to its ‘Canine Café’ next week to help cheer up the residents.
After recent studies have shown that introducing dogs into care home settings can help lift people’s mood and increase social interaction among the community, Abney Court Care Home in the Trafford town of Cheadle – which sits within the picturesque grounds of Abney Hall Park – has decided to host its very-own ‘Canine Café’ next week.
But in a bid to make sure there’s enough canine cuddles for all the residents, staff at the home are asking the public to bring their own four-legged friends down to the party.
Abney Court created the canine-themed event after being inspired by the positive impact previous animal visits have had on residents’ wellbeing in the past, and after hearing how much they missed the company of their own pets from their younger years.
Taking place next Friday 8 March from 11am-12pm, Abney Court’s ‘Canine Café’ gives attendees the chance to enjoy loads of tasty puppy-themed treats and drinks, all while being in the company of furry friends.
Of course, all four-legged guests will be taken good care of too.
Not only will the pups be able to enjoy plenty of fuss from the home’s residents, but they’ll also get the opportunity to play with the other pooches, and be treated to their very-own ‘pup cake’ too.
There’ll also be lots of garden games and a raffle too, so everyone has a shot a winning a whole host of goodies to take home.
Inviting the Greater Manchester public down to the party next week, Amcia Hara, who is the Home Manager at Abney Court, said: “We are looking forward to inviting the local community to our Canine Café, as atudies have shown that introducing dogs into care homes can help lift people’s mood and increase social interaction.
“The human-animal bond is powerful in promoting self-esteem and wellbeing, which is exactly why we feel our Canine Café is set to be a brilliant event.
“Whether you have your own dog or simply an animal lover, we’d encourage you to come along to our event.”
Abney Court Care Home’s Canine Café is happening next Friday 8 March from 11am-12pm.
Featured Image – Abney Court (via Facebook)
Jason Manford is joining the cast of Waterloo Road as the new headteacher
The BBC has announced that Jason Manford will be joining the cast of Waterloo Road, and he’s got himself a starring role in it too.
The famous Manc may be more known for his stand-up comedy, screen presenting work, and on-stage musicaltheatre gigs – but now, he’s giving TV acting a go, and will be stepping into the role of the fictional school’s new headteacher in the next series of the show that’s set to air later this year.
Manford will play Steve Savage – or Mr Savage, to the kids – who goes on to have a big impact on the staff and pupils at Waterloo Road, but not before he ruffles a few feathers along the way.
While the BBC has teased that Manford’s new role as headteacher will leave people questioning how the future looks for current headteacher Kim Campbell, viewers will apparently just have to “wait and see” how the storyline plays out.
Manford has admitted it’s an “absolute treat” to have joined the cast of the popular show.
Speaking on his new role as the casting was announced on the official BBC social media platforms yesterday, Manford said: “What an absolute treat it is to join the cast and crew of Waterloo Road, right here in my home city of Manchester.
“My kids and I binged the show during lockdown.
“It’s such a brilliant and iconic show, so I’m dead proud to now be part of its history. Growing up, I always wanted to be a teacher, and now becoming a headteacher, I know I would have been terrible.”
Alongside Manford in his new role, the BBC has also announced that a whole host of other new characters are being thrown into the mix for the next series too – including Saira Choudhry as Nisha Chandra, the school’s newest maths teacher, and a gaggle of new students played by Olly Rhodes, Nathan Wood, Sonya Nisa, Miya Ocego, Danny Murphy, and Matthew Khan.
Jason Manford is joining the cast of Waterloo Road as the new headteacher / Credit: BBC
Fellow famous Mancs Adam Thomas and Kym Marsh are also set to return, alongside the rest of the current teaching staff and plenty of the same students.
Waterloo Road has continued to remain as popular as ever since its long-awaited return to TV screens last year, with the latest reboot series having been watched weekly on BBC One by audiences in their millions.
It’s also cemented its position as one of the top shows on BBC iPlayer for viewers under 35 too.