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Children with Autism and Dogs for Good benefit from £60,000 grant from Oxfordshire Freemasons

Dogs for the Disabled - Wed, 2017-12-06 12:24

Forty Oxfordshire families with children with an autism diagnosis are set to benefit from a generous £60,000 grant from the Oxfordshire Freemasons. They are part of 150 children with autism who will benefit nationwide.

The grant, awarded to Dogs for Good, will be used over the course of three years and will go directly into the PAWS Family Dog workshops run by the charity. The workshops give advice and support to help families with a child with autism get the most out of their relationship with their family dog.

The series of three, one-day workshops use a combination of practical demonstrations, discussions, hands-on learning and course hand-outs to demonstrate the significant positive effect a well-trained dog can have on the behaviour and development of autistic children.

Oxford-based Alison Pearce, whose daughter has benefitted from the service said: At the first workshop, I was amazed by the many ways in which a pet dog could be trained to help an autistic child and how this would benefit my daughter.  I sat there thinking ‘this could be life-changing.’ It was also beneficial to meet and talk to other parents of children with autism.  I remember thinking ‘I’m not alone, these people really understand.’

“The help from Dogs for Good doesn’t just end after the course. We have continuing support and advice from the Dogs for Good team, and the help my daughter receives from her dog continues to increase.”

The grant from Oxfordshire Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.

Andrew Keech from Oxfordshire Freemasons said: “I’m very pleased we’re able to help Dogs for Good who do such wonderful work with autistic children and their families. Thanks to them, many hundreds of people have seen a huge improvement in their quality of life.”

Find out more about our Family Dog service.

The post Children with Autism and Dogs for Good benefit from £60,000 grant from Oxfordshire Freemasons appeared first on Dogs for Good.

Categories: Charity News

Year End Sportive

Jole Rider - Sun, 2017-11-26 11:42

Year End Sportive 

Your last ride this year!
A non-competitive cycle challenge - with 2 fully signposted courses

Sunday 31 December 2017
Westonbirt School, near Tetbury, Gloucestershire GL8 8QG

 Route Options:
30 miles [48km] - the Christmas Payback
- relatively flat and easy going for the casual rider

50 miles [80km] - the New Year Payforward
- a mixture of flat and rolling hills for intermediate riders

All our routes travel through some of the most beautiful Cotswold countryside.
Our routes avoid busy roads and use quiet lanes with very little traffic.
Additionally, our routes are scenic and a decent mix of hills and flat.
This is not just our opinion but the opinion of riders in our previous events.

Route Features: 
Fully signposted 
Fully stocked feed stations 

Venue Facilities:
Pre-ride mechanical support | Toilets and Showers | FREE parking at Event Venue

The Cotswolds is well known for its beautiful countryside, gentle wolds, with river valleys, water meadows, beech woods and sleepy limestone villages. For this ride we have laid out 2 especially lovely routes. 

Our policy for routing your ride means that we positively avoid main roads where we can and identify quiet country lanes with spectacular views. We also prefer to vary our routes, so no two rides with us are the same!

Selecting BOOK NOW will take you to the Event Page on the
British Cycling website, where you will find full event details and online registration.
To enter the event via British Cycling's online registration system,
you will need a British Cycling user account which is free to set up.

You can also enter on the day as long as there are still places.
For details of this select BOOK NOW.

Here is a list of frequently asked questions
about British Cycling's online registration system.

A minimum of £1 per rider will be donated to JOLE RIDER.  

The Organiser of this Event is Pireaus M3 in assocation with British Cycling.



 THE ROUTES: rated at 92.2%

     A very pleasant and well thought out route
     Revealed the beauty of the Cotswolds
     Unlike many Sportives, avoided busy roads
     Good quiet roads, very little traffic
     Scenic and a decent mix of hills and flat
     The route took me to places I'd never have gone to otherwise

THE SIGNAGE: rated at 93.2%
     Best signed course I've ever been on
     Signage was top notch
     Brilliant to know I can trust the signage on your routes
     GPX files provided added confidence

THE FOOD: rated at 91.6%
     Loved the pie and beans at the end. First class pie!
     Best stocked feed stations ever!
     Free tea and coffee well received
     Really couldn't have been better!
     The best feed stations! Great munchies and lovely volunteers!

OVERALL EXPERIENCE: rated at 95.8%
     I've done a few Sportives - this was very well organised
     Fabulous welcome and assistance from marshalls
     First class; a wonderful, friendly event
     Spot on! Best organised Sportive!
     Excellent. Well organised and friendly
     Friendly staff, good venue

     Hills not spread out enough over the route
     I do question how many people read the 14 page info sheet


Categories: Charity News

Dogs for Good open new pet store

Dogs for the Disabled - Mon, 2017-11-13 16:41

Lisa and Thomas with assistance dog Vito, were VIP guests at the grand opening of Pets at Home inside Tesco Extra in Durham on Saturday 11th November.

The family officially opened the new store, before being invited to choose a selection of Pets at Home’s toys and treats for Vito.

Store manager Jill Allen, has been with Pets at Home for over two years, having previously worked at the Alnwick branch.

Jill said: “What a fantastic start!  Our opening weekend went even better than we had hoped and it was great to have Lisa, Thomas and Vito attend the launch and show them all the products we have on offer at the store.

“Our new store features thousands of dedicated pet products for not only local dogs and cats but small animals, fish and local wildlife too.”

All colleagues at the new store receive extensive training on pet care and pet knowledge which is endorsed by City & Guilds, providing a stamp of approval that demonstrates the value of its training. Colleagues at the Durham store are dedicated to providing the highest levels of customer service, and are trained to offer great pet care tips and product knowledge.

Dogs for Good volunteer, Lisa Dixon said “Thomas and I were really excited to be cutting the ribbon at the launch event for the brand new Durham Pets at Home store.  It gave us an opportunity to show our appreciation for all the fantastic support Pets at Home gives to Dogs for Good.

“Vito was also very excited to meet lots of new people, getting loads of fuss and sniffing out a few treats!”

Customers who attended the launch also enjoyed fun family activities such as face painting and a balloon modeller was on hand to make a variety of different animals.

The store which is located inside the Tesco Extra on Dragonville Industrial Estate includes a pet pharmacy which will provide a large range of health care products including supplements, first aid, dental care and flea and worms treatments.

The new store opening hours will be 8am-10pm Monday – Saturday and 10am-4pm on Sundays.

Founded in 1991, Pets at Home has more than 430 sites across the UK employing more than 6,000 people and is proud to have won The Sunday Times Top 25 Best Big Companies to Work For 2013.

The post Dogs for Good open new pet store appeared first on Dogs for Good.

Categories: Charity News

Dogs for Good receives £1,000 donation

Dogs for the Disabled - Mon, 2017-10-09 11:10

A charity that makes life-changing differences for people with disabilities receives a £1,000 donation from a south midlands housebuilder.

Dogs for Good received the donation from Persimmon Homes South Midlands as part of their national Community Champion scheme – an initiative that gives away up to £2,000 to two charities each month, in each of its 29 regions across the UK.

Based in Banbury, Dogs for Good looks for innovative ways to transform lives by bringing dogs and people together. Their assistance dogs support adults and children with a range of disabilities and also children with autism. They train and support community dogs and their specialist handlers to work in communities and schools, allowing one dog to help lots of different people. The charity also has a family dog service which gives advice and support to help people get the most out of their relationship with their pet dog.

Cathryn Simpson, corporate partnerships manager, at Dogs for Good, said: “We’d like to thank Persimmon Homes South Midlands for their kind donation.  They are now a Puppy Partner to Gibson, and will support his journey from learner pup to life-changing dog.

“Our dogs make a real difference helping to increase independence, improve self-confidence and reduce social isolation and we want to help as many people as possible but we rely purely on vital donations like this as we receive no government funding.”

Carol Selway, sales director for Persimmon Homes South Midlands, said: “We’re proud to be supporting a charity that enriches so many people lives and gives both children and adults their own independence.

“The services that Dogs for Good provides are incredible and I can’t think of a more worthy Community Champion winner.

“We hope this donation will help continue all the good the work the charity does and further improve lives for generations to come.”


Photo: Volunteer Annie with puppy in training Alvin, and Joel with his assistance dog Harry.

The post Dogs for Good receives £1,000 donation appeared first on Dogs for Good.

Categories: Charity News

Dogs for Good Autumn Fair

Dogs for the Disabled - Tue, 2017-10-03 09:16

Saturday 7th October, 11am – 3pm at  Dogs for Good, The Frances Hay Centre, Blacklocks Hill, Banbury OX17 2BS

Join Dogs for Good as they celebrate Dogtober with their annual charity autumn fair. In its eighth year the fair will have a delightful variety of local and handmade items for sale. 20 stalls will offer visitors the chance to buy beautiful gifts, early Christmas presents and treats for themselves. Purchase items from handmade cushions and ceramics to jams, preserves to unique cards – there really is something for everyone.

Denise from the Banbury Supporters Group says “We have been holding charity fairs since 2009 and this will be the first one we hold at the Dogs for Good Training centre in Banbury, we have a great variety of stalls this year alongside traditional fair games, tombola and raffle”

Entrance to the fair is free and if you are interested in taking a stall please call Denise on 07491 658970. Please note that pet dogs are not allowed at this event.

Money raised will go towards Dogs for Good. Dogs for Good makes life changing differences for people with disabilities.  The charity’s assistance dogs support adults and children with a range of disabilities and children with autism and the charity also trains activity and therapy dogs to work with specialist handlers in communities and schools helping adults with autism, people with learning disabilities amongst others.  Its Family Dog team gives specialist training advice and support to help families of a child with autism to leverage support from their pet dog .

Many people Dogs for Good works to support find that by developing a special bond with a trained dog they are able to overcome challenges, build confidence and consider new opportunities such as starting a new job or going to college and playing a more active role in their community.  Partnership with a dog also helps to reduce social isolation and bring families closer together.

Discover other ways you can help support Dogs for Good.


The post Dogs for Good Autumn Fair appeared first on Dogs for Good.

Categories: Charity News

Shout it from the Wooftops – Dogtober is coming!

Dogs for the Disabled - Fri, 2017-09-29 11:18

Taking place throughout October, Dogtober is designed to put the fun into fundraising and the Charity has come up with six, simple ideas that Top Dogs can use to help raise the vital funds needed to train dogs to make a life-changing difference to people with a range of disabilities and children with autism.

Ideas include:

  • Pupcake Sale: What’s more enticing? Puppies or cupcakes? It’s a tough one but Dogs for Good has come up with a recipe for ‘Pupcakes’ that can be used to bake up a storm and raise money at the same time.
  • Welly Wednesday: There are four Wednesdays in Dogtober so it’s a great excuse to wear wellies anywhere and everywhere to raise funds … as well as eyebrows!
  • Dogtober Walk: Walks in autumn are a joy and an organised Dogtober walk can bring together a whole host of two and four-legged fresh-air fans ready for a rustle through the leaves.
  • Hot Dogs for Good Dogs: Plain or saucy, whose mouth doesn’t water at the thought of a Hot Dog? Get the taste buds tingling and the money jingling by holding a Dogtober Hot Dog sale.
  • Go Green for Dogs for Good: Green is the Dogs for Good logo colour and this idea has no limits. Be bold and get sponsored to dye your hair green for the month of Dogtober or simply wear green socks for the day!
  • Really Good Coffee Morning: Coffee mornings are a firm fundraising favourite so get the kettle on and host one at a friend’s house or go large and take over the Town Hall!

Whether it’s bringing together work colleagues, friends, family, neighbours or dog-walking groups, there’s a Dogtober event that’s sure to get tails wagging.

Find out more about Dogtober and download a fundraising pack here.

The post Shout it from the Wooftops – Dogtober is coming! appeared first on Dogs for Good.

Categories: Charity News

Dogs for Good urgently needs people to provide B&B care for their dogs-in-training

Dogs for the Disabled - Fri, 2017-09-08 08:12

Want a dog but too busy to have one?  Live in the Banbury area?  Life transforming Charity Dogs for Good is after people like you!

Dogs for Good urgently needs volunteers to look after their amazing dogs-in-training on a ‘bed & breakfast’ basis.  Volunteers will look after a dog in the evenings and at the weekend, taking them home to have a well earned rest from their training – perfect for people who are out at work or have other commitments during the day.

Potential volunteers will need to have an enclosed garden and be able to drop the dog off and pick them up from the Dogs for Good Banbury centre.  You’ll be provided with everything that you need for the dog, which will be training to become an assistance or community dog to help people with disabilities.

“I wasn’t quite sure how I would deal with saying goodbye.  The dogs are all so amazing with a unique personality; you can’t help but love them all.  The first time I watched the result of the training and absolute commitment from the trainers, I had a tear in my eye and it all made sense.” says Alison, B&B boarder.

Potential volunteers must…

  • be able to bring the dog into the Charity’s Banbury centre in the morning and pick them up at the end of the day Monday – Friday
  • have a secure, enclosed garden with a fence or wall measuring at least 5 foot
  • be able to exercise the dogs as required by their trainer
  • not leave the dog for more than a four hour period and have no more than two pet dogs
  • be aware that B&B Boarding lasts from 16 – 18 weeks

If you fulfil these requirements please click here to download an application form.

The post Dogs for Good urgently needs people to provide B&B care for their dogs-in-training appeared first on Dogs for Good.

Categories: Charity News

Introducing Digby, ITV’s This Morning Puppy

Dogs for the Disabled - Mon, 2017-09-04 11:37

Dogs for Good is delighted to announce that Digby, a twelve week old, golden retriever cross Labrador puppy has joined the ITV This Morning show today and will be making weekly appearances on the show over the next twelve months.

Digby; ITV This Morning’s new puppy

This puppy may just be a cute bundle of fur right now, but he’s destined for great things. Charity Dogs for Good makes life changing differences to people with disabilities through specially trained dogs.

The charity’s assistance dogs support adults and children with a range of disabilities and also children with autism. In addition, the charity’s community dog service trains activity and therapy dogs to work with specialist handlers in a variety of settings including hospitals, in social care and schools. The charity’s Family Dog team also gives specialist advice and support to help families with a child with autism get the most out of their relationship with their pet dog.

ITV This Morning viewers named the Dogs for Good puppy live on the show today.  Digby will be puppy socialised by Helen Townsend, an experienced Dogs for Good volunteer who has already socialised four puppies for the charity – resulting in Helen having volunteered for nearly 2,000 days caring for young pups.  Helen will accompany Digby to the ITV This Morning studios each week and over the next year and when Digby’s not taking a starring role, Helen will be helping him to learn about the world around him.  Together the pair will be visiting supermarkets, restaurants and other busy places, travelling on buses and trains – in fact all the sort of places that Digby might go as a working dog.  Helen will also be teaching him all the important basic obedience training to ensure he’s a polite, relaxed and confident dog wherever he goes.

This Morning presenters Holly and Phillip meet Digby for the first time. Photo from @thismorning

Digby was bred by Dogs for Good’s own breeding scheme. The charity breeds from a small number of dogs who live at home with volunteers and given additional care and support by the charity’s puppy team. Dogs for Good trains mainly golden retrievers, Labradors and first crosses of the two as they tend to be the breeds most suited to working as assistance dogs.  The charity has developed its own breeding scheme to help find pups with the right temperament and characteristics to become assistance dogs and all the pups and mum are regularly health checked and screened.  Digby was part of a litter of nine pups, four of whom will stay with Dogs for Good while others have gone to become assistance dogs at other charities.

If all goes well with Digby’s puppy socialising, he will begin his formal training to become an assistance dog at around 15 months of age.  Dogs for Good has a national training centre in Banbury, Oxfordshire where all Dogs for Good assistance dogs and community dogs receive around six months training before they are placed with a disabled child or adult or a child with autism to help them live life more independently.

Each year, Dogs for Good receives more than 2,000 enquiries from people who would like support from a trained dogs but currently the charity is only able to help a small proportion of those who would like assistance as they are reliant on donations and receive no government funding. Find out more about our work.

The post Introducing Digby, ITV’s This Morning Puppy appeared first on Dogs for Good.

Categories: Charity News

21 Miles of Sea and 4 Years in Training – Scott Swims Channel for Charity

Dogs for the Disabled - Wed, 2017-08-30 11:14

Yesterday, Tuesday 29th August, marked the end of four years of physical and mental preparation for Scott Baker, when he swam the English Channel in 14 hours and 11 minutes, in aid of life-transforming charity Dogs for Good.

Scott decided to take on this challenge back in 2013.  At the time he had not swum for 25 years, did not own a pair of goggles and could only mange to swim two lengths.  Since then he’s entered into the world of open water and marathon swimming to help him prepare.

This feat is even more impressive as Scott hoped to complete the challenge in 17 hours but beat his target by 3 hours and it’s worth noting that more people have climbed Everest than have swum the Channel. Scott had originally wanted to raise £5000 but he has now raised over £6000. All of which will go towards training a dog to help change lives.

Scott explains why he took on this gruelling swim:

“Over 100 years ago, my Great Nan trained hard to attempt to swim the English Channel. She was an excellent swimmer and spent much time sea swimming in preparation. The break out of World War One stopped her and she never got to make the crossing.”

“As a child I was a keen swimmer. My Great Nan always used to come to watch me; she was always up there on the viewing balcony watching as I went up and down, I can’t imagine how dull it must have been. I knew she was there, but I didn’t thank her for it at the time.  I’ve thanked her now by doing what she was unable too and swam the Channel in her honour.”

“I am raising money for this fantastic charity because I know the difference having a dog can make to your life. I am amazed by how Dogs for Good changes lives and I want to raise money so they can help more people.”

To donate to Scott’s fundraising go to: To find out more about the charity visit

Picture: Scott meets Instructor Becky and assistance dog in training Indi

The post 21 Miles of Sea and 4 Years in Training – Scott Swims Channel for Charity appeared first on Dogs for Good.

Categories: Charity News

Tranquil Twilight walk for Charity

Dogs for the Disabled - Tue, 2017-08-29 09:19

6pm on Friday 22nd September 2017 at Stowe Landscape Gardens, MK18 5EQ.

Join in with Dogs for Good on their exclusive twilight walk at the National Trust’s Stowe Landscape Gardens in Buckinghamshire.  The Dogs for Good walk will be taking place at dusk after the Gardens have closed to the general public, so a unique opportunity to see the Gardens after the crowds have gone.

Those taking part will follow the gentle hour and a half route around the tranquil Octagonal Lake over the beautiful Palladian Bridge.  Then take in the famous follies of the Temple of Ancient Virtue and the Temple of British Worthies where you can see if you can spot the hidden memorial to Fido the dog.

Everyone is welcome, with or without dogs and there is disabled access to all walks.

Arrive at 6pm for 6.30pm start.  Tickets cost £10 and under-16s are free, tickets are limited and are only available until Tuesday 12th September 2017.

For tickets contact Yasmin on 07803 158001 or

Find out about our challenge events.


The post Tranquil Twilight walk for Charity appeared first on Dogs for Good.

Categories: Charity News

Calling Berkshire residents! Meet the Team morning to be held in Reading

Dogs for the Disabled - Fri, 2017-08-25 12:12

Help transform lives: Meet the Team, Saturday 9th September at Coley Park Community Centre, Reading.

Life-transforming charity Dogs for Good is currently seeking new fundraising volunteers in the Berkshire area to help raise much needed money to train more dogs, as well as raising the profile of the charity in the county.

They are holding an Meet the Team session for people who would like to find out more about volunteering on Saturday 9th September from 10am – 12.30pm at the Coley Park Community Centre, Reading, RG1 6DW.

There will be an opportunity for those interested in volunteering to talk to Regional fundraiser Lisa and  fundraising volunteers Stephen and Sandy. Stephen is also a client of Dogs for Good and will have his assistance dog Scott with him, so you can find out how the charity makes a difference to people’s lives.

Dogs for Good’s fundraising volunteers take part in a variety of activities, including attending local fundraising events, organising their own events such as craft fairs, dog walks and quiz nights and being trained to give talks about the Charity to local community groups.

It’s a great way to make new friends and learn new skills, give back to your local community and help Dogs for Good to train more dogs to support more people with disabilities. There is no minimum commitment and volunteers can choose activities to fit around their schedule.

Find out more about fundraising and volunteering.

The post Calling Berkshire residents! Meet the Team morning to be held in Reading appeared first on Dogs for Good.

Categories: Charity News

Maria describes her Ecuador earthquake horror – pinned to the ground by a fallen fridge. Now homeless for a second time due to natural disasters, her simple plea is ‘I need help’

Shelterbox News - Tue, 2016-05-10 23:00

For Maria Bele Artiaga, a wife and mother in her 50s, the massive earthquake that ripped much of Ecuador apart on 16 April was her second brush with natural disaster. She vividly describes her narrow escapes to ShelterBox responders, there to help Ecuadorians recover and rebuild.

Categories: Charity News

ShelterBox on top of the world - intrepid Brian Jackson almost completes his unclimbed Himalayan peaks adventure – beaten back by glacier and weather

Shelterbox News - Sun, 2016-05-08 23:00

ShelterBox fundraiser Brian Jackson may have fallen just short of standing on the summit of Om Tso Go in Nepal, but he still ‘got to walk where no person has walked before and see views no person has seen before’

Categories: Charity News

Syrian Kamounia camp bombing. UK aid agency ShelterBox – ‘The most inhuman act to use women and children fleeing war as military targets’

Shelterbox News - Thu, 2016-05-05 23:00

While the UN decides whether to classify an air strike on a makeshift camp for displaced people in northern Syria as a war crime, UK agency ShelterBox condemns the targeting of families on the run from war

Categories: Charity News

Soldiers will cycle and swim to Paris for ShelterBox – without ever leaving Rutland!

Shelterbox News - Thu, 2016-04-28 23:00

Next Wednesday soldiers from 7 Regiment Royal Logistics Corps have set themselves the gruelling task of cycling and swimming the equivalent distance from their barracks to Paris - over 380 miles.

Categories: Charity News

Just two days left to win Isle of Wight Festival VIP glamping tickets. – As the outdoor festival season begins, ShelterBox urges you to ‘love your tent’

Shelterbox News - Wed, 2016-04-27 23:00

Of course ShelterBox loves tents. And so do the one million people we have helped to shelter after disaster. But now, as a summer of music festivals gets underway, we have joined a national campaign to make sure festival-goers and campers leave sites pitch perfect

Categories: Charity News

Ecuador’s shelter and water crisis – ‘The situation is much worse than we had anticipated.’ ShelterBox team sees children begging in the streets with empty water bottles, and fields suffocated by ‘black water’

Shelterbox News - Tue, 2016-04-26 23:00

There is a new urgency in the aid programme for the coastal communities of Ecuador following the massive earthquake on 16 April. Flooding had already poisoned crops around Portoviejo, and infrastructure damage has now left families without safe drinking water

Categories: Charity News

‘The magnetism that draws you back’ - A message from Nepal to ShelterBox from supporter Deborah Holden, one year after Everest’s most deadly day

Shelterbox News - Sat, 2016-04-23 23:00

While her sister Amanda decides the fate of contestants on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, ShelterBox supporter Deborah Holden has returned to the scene of her narrowest escape. It is one year on from the deadly earthquake that triggered an Everest avalanche. She says, ‘Not coming back to Nepal was never an option’.

Categories: Charity News

ShelterBox team in Ecuador traveling to quake zone to assess need. Thunderstorms, landslides, continuing tremors, impassable roads - all challenge the search for the missing

Shelterbox News - Fri, 2016-04-22 23:00

As the death toll rises and disease fears grow, UK disaster relief agency ShelterBox is talking to government officials and colleague aid agencies about how, and where, to respond most effectively to shelter needs. A team is visiting the worst affected areas.

Categories: Charity News

As liberation anniversary approaches a moving personal account of life in Dachau concentration camp is published, supporting ShelterBox

Shelterbox News - Thu, 2016-04-21 23:00

ShelterBox often sees life in the raw - after disasters, in war zones, transit camps and in the plight of refugees. Now the UK charity is set to benefit from sales of a moving personal account of life in a Nazi concentration camp in WW2. It is a remarkable read.

Categories: Charity News

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