A Scottish charity that pairs dogs with military veterans to help them to adjust to civilian life has been named the nation's favourite.

Bravehound was launched in 2016 to provide support and companionship for veterans dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other difficulties adjusting to life outside the military.

Veteran Mick McConnell, who lost a leg while serving in Afghanistan, received Sasha, a sprocker spaniel from the charity earlier this year.

He said: "My sniffer dog Memphis was with me when I was injured in Afghanistan and when he was retired, I was able to be reunited with him. He helped me through some dark days as I recovered from my injuries.

"Sadly Memphis passed away earlier this year and I was devastated. But thanks to Bravehound, I was introduced to Sasha and we are inseparable. She is such a great help to me - she gets me out and about and makes me laugh all the time."

The Herald:

Photo credit: Mark Gibson 

Based in Bishopton, Renfrewshire, the project was set up with the help of National Lottery funding and has now finished top of a poll to find the UK's favourite Lottery-funded cause.

Invictus Games medallist JJ Chalmers visited the organisation to deliver the award, along with £5,000.

He said: "It can be difficult to adjust after leaving the armed forces, especially for those who have experienced trauma in combat. But these companion dogs and the support from charity provide great comfort to those fortunate enough to receive them.

"They fully deserve this National Lottery Award - National Lottery players should be very proud to have helped fund the wonderful Bravehounds."

Fiona Macdonald, Bravehound founder and director, said: "We believe dogs can help heal the invisible wounds that those who have seen military action carry with them.

"We are delighted to have won a National Lottery Award and to be recognised in this way by the public, not just in Scotland but throughout the UK.

"I'd like to thank everyone who voted for us and everyone who plays the National Lottery for enabling us to provide this vital service for our veterans."