A product-service solution with two key benefits; encouraging older people to be more active and socialising shelter dogs.
Pets are good for mental health, but dog ownership can be a huge undertaking. Wag Walks offers an alternative for those that cannot/do not want to own a dog full-time, while still allowing them to experience the benefits.
The Problem
3.6 million older people in the UK live alone. 
Loneliness can be as unhealthy as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
Physical inactivity costs the NHS £1 billion every year.
Interviews were conducted with relevant users and stakeholders. These included elderly people with and without dogs, care home and dog shelter staff members. 
Interview findings allowed me to develop a persona, build an existing user journey and identify pain points. These included a lack of access to public transport, a lack of motivation to exercise and a lack of confidence. 
''The great thing about dogs is you have to go out. I don't think I'd go out if I didn't have a dog ... in fact I know I wouldn't''.
-Kate, elderly dog owner

Insight Generation from Interviews

Some touch points were developed to make the user feel more connected to the service. The service itself was also tested with users, identifying what kind of trips people find useful and valuable. 
‘’Being able to run errands ... would be useful’’.
- Anon, user
The Proposal 
Wag Walks is a service that organises regular walks in rural towns and villages for older people to  walk a specially selected shelter dog and socialise in a safe and welcoming environment, allowing them to gain the confidence and fitness levels they need to pursue other active travel options in the long-term.
One issue with the service was that if the shelter dog is adopted, the elderly user will miss them and become lonely again. These collectible tags are given to the user every time they are matched with a new dog to serve as a reminder of all the dogs they have walked. The dogs will also wear a matching tag. 
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