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Dogs for Good makes life changing differences for people with disabilities.
Updated: 2 hours 34 min ago

Celebrating 30 years of life changing devotion

Fri, 2018-01-19 14:35

2018 is a milestone year for Oxfordshire-based Dogs for Good as the charity proudly celebrates its 30th anniversary. Over the years the work it carries out has transformed the lives of thousands of adults and children with disabilities.

Since 1988, Dogs for Good has created no less than 875 assistance dog partnerships, run many hundreds of family dog workshops, worked with schools and hospitals in the community and been involved in many special projects.

In addition to assistance dog partnerships, Dogs for Good has led the way in developing how dogs can help people with additional needs. In 2004, the charity introduced the first assistance dogs for children to the UK, the first dogs being trained to support children with physical disabilities and shortly afterwards they developed their service for children with autism. Most recently, Dogs for Good has worked in collaboration with Alzheimer Scotland to train dementia assistance dogs.

In order to help more people and recognising that not everyone is able to benefit from the help of a dog 24:7, the charity now trains activity and therapy dogs to work with specialist handlers in settings such as hospitals, schools and social care settings. Through this work, Dogs for Good supports people with a wide range of conditions including learning disabilities, dementia, physical disabilities and autism.

Through Family Dog workshops the charity is able to provide advice and support to help families with a child with autism get the most out of their relationship with their pet dog.

Dogs for Good (formerly Dogs for the Disabled) was the brainchild of founder, Frances Hay, herself disabled and a lifelong animal lover and dog owner. She recognised that the strong bond she enjoyed with her own dogs helped in many ways to maintain her independence and also, that her dog was able to carry out small but vitally important tasks for her such as picking up dropped items and helping to steady her while walking and balance her getting up from a seated position.

This realisation, knowledge and vision inspired Frances to start the charity in 1988, work began in earnest and one year later, a number of physically disabled adults were partnered with dogs. The impact of these partnerships was immediately clear – dogs can make a big difference to improving people’s lives and offer both practical and emotional support.

Dogs for Good client, Ann, is partnered with assistance dog, Twickers and explains: “I’d loved my pet dogs in the past but the bond you get with these dogs is something else. Your self-worth is elevated because you have to care for another life; grooming, walking, feeding, rather than being the one that receives care. Having the dog doesn’t just give me confidence, it gives my husband and daughters confidence, too, because they know I’m not ever on my own. Before, I was just a lady in a wheelchair. Now, I’m Ann with the lovely, clever, amazing dog and my disability fades into the background.”

Dogs for Good Chief Executive, Peter Gorbing says: “Looking ahead to the next 30 years, we intend to share our knowledge and experience with more people as well as providing services directly to those that desperately need it. We’ll use digital and online technologies to support the work and will continue to innovate, share best practice and collaborate with others.”

Dogs for Good is always keen to welcome new recruits who are able to volunteer their time and energy to help create more life-changing partnerships and further the work it carries out. There are many ways to get involved from caring for a puppy or dog or joining a local supporters group.

Find out more about the last 30 years of Dogs for Good.

The post Celebrating 30 years of life changing devotion appeared first on Dogs for Good.

Categories: Charity News

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

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

Dogs for Good open new pet store

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

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

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

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