A MOVING letter written by a young child whose gran had died to a dog in a rescue centre has highlighted the work of a charity which supports cared-for youngsters.

The unnamed youngster wrote to the dog after having to move to a new home after their gran, who they had lived with, died.

And they told the animal they hoped it would find a loving home too, admitting that moving to a new place was “a scary experience”.

The letter was shared by Fostering Compassion, which works with cared-for children using workshops and programmes in which they share stories of rescued domestic and wild animals.

The groundbreaking programme helps children who often struggle with emotions and expressing themselves to empathise with the animals.

The charity, based in Ormiston, East Lothian, has been going for seven years and started with just 10 children. Its 2019 annual report reveals it has now helped more than 700 youngsters.

The letter by the unnamed child was produced as part of a workshop where the youngster was helping make a box of comfort for a dog in rescue.

It said: “Dear doggy, hiYa my name is ***** and I am writing this note to say I hope you get a home soon and stay well.

“I am a child whose gran died and I am living with my auntie and it was a scary experience in a new home but I hope if you get a home your (sic) loved and cared for, lots of hugs **** xx”

The charity said the letter emphasised the way children were able to relate to animals.

They said: “Not only had this child been removed from their birth parents and put into the care of their grandmother, they then had to endure the loss of their grandmother and move in with their aunt.

“It had clearly been quite an ordeal for the child and the first time they had been able to verbalise their feelings was through this letter to a little dog.

“After hearing the rescued animals’ stories, the child was able to understand how a rescued animal might feel and showed great empathy and understanding in this letter.”

The charity also provides workshops in local schools, and last year opened a Woodland Haven room at its base, where it offers one-to-one sessions and workshops, as well as a calm environment.

The room has also been used for family contact sessions.

Lesley Winton, founder of the charity, said: “The importance of the human-animal bond and the ‘link’ – the recognised connection between animal abuse, child abuse and interpersonal violence – continue to strongly underpin our work.

“Through the medium of animals, Fostering Compassion’s workshops provide a safe place for vulnerable children to begin to understand and open up about their feelings and start the healing process.”