Adverts: 0161 709 4576 - Editorial: 0161 709 4571
Mail Order: 0161 709 4578 - Subs: 0161 709 4575 - Webteam: 0161 709 4567

Support Dogs and Colbear in charity partnership


Sheffield based charity Support Dogs has appointed Colbear Public Relations to help raise awareness of its ground breaking Autism Assistance Programme, the UK’s first national initiative to provide Assistance Dogs for children with Autism.

The charity announced the launch of the unique scheme at the beginning of March, with a rallying call to help raise the £1 million pounds of funding.

Since the launch, Support Dogs has received an overwhelming response with hundreds of calls from people asking for more information.

Angela Gregory, Support Dogs’ Marketing and Fundraising Officer, said: “The success of the launch was overwhelming. We’ve had a fantastic response from the media so hopefully we should see more of the vital funds we need starting to come in soon!

“I am delighted to be working with the PR team at Colbear. We talked to a number of agencies before deciding on our partner, but their passion and commitment and obvious belief in the Autism Assistance Dogs programme was what helped us to make the final decision.

“They are also one of the most experienced and professional agencies in Yorkshire and I believe they are the ideal partner to help us take this forward and achieve our very ambitious £1 million target.”

The £1 million will fund the first four years of the project and allow Support Dogs to provide a truly inclusive national service with no regional restrictions – the only one of its kind in mainland UK.
By the end of the first four years the charity hopes to have trained 68 dogs, helped an estimated 300 people and have four fully qualified, full time, Autism Assistance Dog trainers.

Liz Dimitrijevic, PR Director at Colbear, added:” It’s fantastic to be working with Support Dogs. Autism Assistance Dogs can literally change the lives of children with Autism and their families, so it is a real labour of love for me to be working on such a worthwhile programme and to be helping raise awareness of the vital work that Support Dogs are doing.”

Autism Assistance Dogs make a real and very positive difference to the lives of children including:
· Improved safety levels for children with autism through control of the child by commanding the dog which acts as an anchor.

· Improved behaviour and socialisation skills through acting as a constant companion and forming a unique bond.

· Creates freedom for the child and family to go out from the home, allowing full public access – shops, restaurants, hotels and schools.

· Expands the child’s capabilities to experience more from life.

· Calms the child thereby increasing attention span and improving aptitude for learning.

· Reduces stress for all family members.

· Teaches the child responsibilities.

· Positive changes in behaviour, lower aggression level and comfort when upset.

The Autism Assistance Dogs enquiry line is now available on: 0114 2617800. For more information about Support Dogs visit: www.support-dogs.org.uk