Sunderland animal charity founder named among UK’s happiest people

Andrea Parkin, left, with Sue Hardy.
Andrea Parkin, left, with Sue Hardy.
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A CHARITY founder from Sunderland has been named one of the happiest people in the country.

The Independent on Sunday’s seventh annual ‘happy list’, which was released last weekend, includes animal rescuer Andrea Parkin, from Grangetown.

She rubs shoulders with other kind-hearted and inspirational people, including the late cancer sufferer and fund-raiser Stephen Sutton.

The paper says its list “celebrates a different set of values, embracing those who start charities, help troubled youngsters, give huge amounts of time to volunteering and raising money, foster children, care for wildlife, and much more”.

It states: “Andrea from Sunderland set up her charity, Animal Krackers, in 2002. As well as overseeing the charity’s shop and caring for her elderly parents, she works tirelessly for the city’s abandoned animals, rescuing and re-homing them and doing everything possible to improve their lives.”

Andrea, 49, did not realise she was included on the list until the Echo contacted her. She said she was “gobsmacked” and had no idea who had nominated her.

She added: “If the happiness I’ve brought is anywhere near the happiness I have got from the RSPCA when I adopted my dog Millie in 1999, then I’m over the moon.

“She brought me happiness beyond anything else and brilliant memories. I set up the charity because I wanted other people to get that feeling, that quality of life.”

Other entries on the list include a 93-year-old who has raised more than £100,000 for Age UK by dressing as a bee, a teacher who donated a kidney to one of his pupils, the world’s oldest barmaid, the limbless Plymouth man who founded a charity to help other amputees and the London woman who founded a pop-up restaurant that employs only refugees and migrants.

The chosen 100 will be invited to a party in their honour, providing them the opportunity to meet and celebrate together.

For more information about Animal Krackers, visit