Dog Assistance in Disability (Dog A.I.D.) has been awarded £5,000 to help run Assistance Dog training workshops at their centre in Shrewsbury. The charity gives people with physical disabilities the chance to train their own pet dog to become an Assistance Dog. This grant will allow an extra twenty people to attend one of the charities client/trainer workshops in 2018.
The grant will fund a fully accessible weekend training workshop at Stoke Mandeville Stadium
Shropshire Freemason, Roger Pemberton, visited Dog A.I.D to see their work in action. As well as meeting some of the staff and volunteers, Roger got the chance to meet Christine Evans, a Dog A.I.D client who is currently training her pet dog, Beau.
Assistance Dogs help their owners live more independent lives
Once trained, the new Assistance Dogs will help their owner to live a more independent life. They can help with everyday tasks such as emptying the washing machine, finding the telephone, turning the lights on, and even calling for assistance in an emergency. These dogs are often their owners’ lifeline; supporting them emotionally, physically, and helping them join in with in their local community.
There are an around 80,000 people across the country who could benefit from an Assistance Dog
Training an Assistance Dog
There are currently 74 fully qualified dogs around the country. Training takes between 18 months and 2 years, with both dog and owner receiving guidance from a network of trainers. The training gives dog owners all the tools they need to reinforce the training methods and teach their dog new cues and tasks independently.
Sandra Fraser, Chair of Dog A.I.D said
We’re very grateful to Shropshire Freemasons for their generous grant, which will help us bring together clients, dogs and trainers for a quarterly workshop which will further their skills, swap best practice, increase confidence and make new friends.
Dog A.I.D. on BBC Radio Shropshire
Sandra Fraser and client, Caroline Lewis appeared on BBC Radio Shropshire to talk about the amazing impact an Assistance Dog can have and the training that’s involved.