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LEICESTERSHIRE HOUSEBUILDER ENTERS FOURTH YEAR OF PARTNERSHIP WITH ASSISTANCE DOG CHARITY

LEICESTERSHIRE HOUSEBUILDER ENTERS FOURTH YEAR OF PARTNERSHIP WITH ASSISTANCE DOG CHARITY

David Wilson Homes has continued its partnership with Loughborough-based Canine Partners having contributed over £200,000 across four years to the charity which transforms the lives of people with physical disabilities through puppy companionship.

Canine Partners’ puppies are trained to help adults with a range of disabilities by taking on human-like tasks including opening and closing doors, unloading the washing machine, helping people to get undressed and even removing a card from an ATM.

In support of the charity over the years, David Wilson Homes has sponsored the training of four dogs: Wellington, Winstone, Wilson and Bayleigh. It has also helped to build the kennels where the dogs live during training, participated in volunteering days and assisted with the landscaping on site to create more accessible areas for wheelchair users.

David Watson, Corporate Relationships Manager at Canine Partners, said:

“We are hugely grateful to David Wilson Homes for its continued support over the past four years.

“The company has gone above and beyond anything we could have asked for and the difference that the funding has made to our charity is truly phenomenal.”

Some of the disabilities that the charity provides support with include cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, arthritis and muscular dystrophy. It also helps to cater for those who have suffered with other conditions including head injuries, spinal injuries and strokes.

Canine companionship has helped the charity’s partners with a range of life-changing benefits including increased independence, confidence and social interaction.

Richard Brooke, Regional Managing Director at David Wilson Homes, said:

“We are honoured to continue our partnership with such a fantastic charity, as its incredible work transforms the lives of both young and older adults with additional needs.

“As a national company, it’s important to support the communities in which we build, and Canine Partners stood out to us as an organisation with the capacity to do this on a great level.”

One of the most recent projects David Wilson Homes has helped to fund is the implementation of a new footpath with disabled access at the charity’s Loughborough training facility.

With the help of one of its contractors, MJ Evans, the developer has created a circular trail around the charity’s open fields to allow future partners to bond with their furry companions before the partnership takes place.

Tim Mason, Managing Director at MJ Evans Construction Ltd, said:

“During the winter months, the grass field can get quite wet and muddy, which makes it difficult for those using wheelchairs or electric scooters to freely bond with their dogs.

“With the help of David Wilson Homes, we have created a pathway which allows these people to have a greater sense of independence and enjoy downtime with their dog, without as much intervention from a carer.”

David Watson, from Canine Partners, added:

“Before the new pathway was built, it felt as though something was missing from our centre.

“One of the most important things for us is to help empower our partners so they can interact with their dogs without any barriers.

“The new footpath will make a significant difference to the people we support and we are extremely thankful to both David Wilson Homes and MJ Evans for this wonderful gesture.”

Before a puppy can become a fully-trained Canine Partner, they undertake a 12-14 month training programme with a volunteer, followed by four months of advanced training at one of the charity’s centres.

The puppy’s training is then tailored to meet the specific needs of their new partner, and the pair will spend two weeks on a residential course in order to understand how to take care of one another.

Once a dog has been paired up with its owner, they stay connected for life, with the charity offering ongoing support and adapting the dog’s training should its partner’s condition change.

For more information on how to support Canine Partners, visit the website at https://caninepartners.org.uk/.

For further information about David Wilson Homes, visit www.dwh.co.uk.

Picture: Richard Brooke meeting one of Canine Partner's beneficiaries with Winstone, the dog


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