The Barratt Foundation has donated £50,000 to Loughborough-based Canine Partners for a fifth consecutive year as part of a renewed partnership.
The Leicestershire assistance dog charity transforms the lives of people with physical disabilities through puppy companionship, and supports more than 350 beneficiaries.
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.
During the recent visit to the charity’s facility, The Barratt Foundation team and representatives from David Wilson Homes were able to learn more about the positive impact Canine Partners has from the beneficiaries themselves. The assistance dogs make a huge difference to an individual’s independence and confidence, and even take some of the caring burden away from children of those with disabilities.
Having partnered with the charity for five successive years and donated a total of £250,000, David Wilson Homes and The Barratt Foundation has been able to fund the training of four dogs; Wellington, Winstone, Wilson and Bayleigh.
Teams from the David Wilson Homes Division in the area has also helped to build the kennels where the dogs live during training, participated in volunteering days, and assisted with landscaping at the charity premises to create more accessible areas for wheelchair users.
Canine Partners provides much-needed support for people with disabilities including 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.
John Dillon, Regional Managing Director at David Wilson Homes, said: “It’s a privilege to continue our partnership with such an excellent cause, as the charity’s incredible work enhances the lives of adults, young and old, with additional needs.
“As the UK’s largest housebuilder, it’s important for us to support the communities in which we build, and Canine Partners is an organisation with the capacity to do this on a much larger scale.”
The donation to Canine Partners came as part of The Barratt Foundation, which is designed to support national and local charities, large and small, across the UK to leave a legacy in the communities in which the housebuilder operates.
Before a puppy can become a fully-trained Canine Partner, they undertake a 12 to 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 adapted to meet the individual needs of their new partner, and the pair will spend two weeks on a residential course to learn how to take care of one another.
Once a dog has been paired up with its owner, they stay connected for life, and the charity offers ongoing support to adapt the dog’s training, should its partner’s condition change.