Canine Partners is a registered charity that assists people with disabilities to enjoy a greaterindependence and quality of life through the provision of specially trained dogs, whose well-being is a key consideration.
More than 1.2 million people in the UK use a wheelchair, and a significant number of those would benefit from a canine partner. The dogs are carefully matched to the applicant’s needs and lifestyle, no matter how challenging. They are trained to help with everyday tasks such as opening and shutting doors, unloading the washing machine, picking up dropped items, pressing buttons and switches and getting help in an emergency. The Charity aims to train dogs to meet the needs of people with even the most complex disabilities including members of HM Armed Forces.
It takes between 15-18 months to train a canine partner from selection at eight weeks old through puppy training and advanced training until they are partnered with a person with disabilities. Each partnership has regular visits from the Charity’s aftercare assistants and support and advice are available 24 hours a day. There are twelve puppy training satellites around Great Britain where the pups are looked after by volunteers under the watchful eye of a Canine Partners’ trainer, and during which time they learn obedience and some early tasks. They then come into the Charity’s training centre in Heyshott, West Sussex for five months to learn the advanced task work and to be matched with their future owner.
These life transforming dogs also provide practical, physiological, psychological and social benefits including increased independence and confidence as well as increased motivation and self-esteem. A canine partner also brings companionship, a sense of security and increases social interaction.
Canine Partners receives no government funding and relies solely on public donations.
How can you help?
Well here are just a few of the ways you can get involved:
Collect Stamps – www.caninepartners.org.uk/stamp_appeal
– from home, work, businesses, clubs, church congregations and schools. You can send them to: Canine Partners Stamp Appeal, PO Box 638, Fareham, Hampshire PO14 9JJ, or deliver to one of our satellites local to you.
Become a distributor of collecting tins – www.caninepartners.org.uk/volunteering_your_help
– collecting tins can raise huge sums for the Charity – more than £30,000 in 2011 – so if
you could distribute collecting tins to premises in your area, and arrange collection and update; you will be helping to create new partnerships.
Become a Puppy Parent – www.caninepartners.org.uk/puppy_parents
– Volunteer to become a puppy parent, taking one of puppies into your home for up to 12 months and teach it obedience and basic tasks under the auspices of our trainers. You would need to take the puppy to regular training classes situated in one of 12 regions around the country (see website).
Adopt a Puppy – www.caninepartners.org.uk/adoptapuppy
– follow their training and adventures! Sign up to our Adopt a Puppy scheme for only £1 a week and you will receive a presentation pack with details of your sponsored puppy and regular updates of their progress. An ideal gift for family and friends. If you and just one of your friends sign up to Adopt a Puppy you will have raised £104 in a year.
Join our 150 Purple Clubs – www.caninepartners.org.uk/fundraising – raise £150 or more through various fundraising events such as coffee mornings, quiz evenings or any way you like, and you will receive a special 150 Purple Club gift as a thank you. Every £150 will go towards the funding required for the training and lifetime partnership of an assistance dog – why not go purple and help us reach this goal?
These five ways can help to transform someone’s life dramatically, like Steve, ex Royal Marine with partner Kizzie (pictured). Please consider how you can help us.
Don’t forget – tell others about Canine Partners – it’s a great way to raise awareness of the Charity and encourage support of our work.
If you would like to know more and find out about other ways to support us, please visit www.caninepartners.org.uk or phone 08456 580480.
Registered charity no: 803680 (England and Wales) and SC039050 (Scotland)