4 Young People
Ability Dogs 4 Young People is a newly formed Isle of Wight charity (started April 2012). We are training assistance dogs to enhance the independence of disabled young people living on the Isle of Wight. We are training assistance dogs to help people with physical or mental disabilities (or both), including cerebral palsy, autism and epilepsy. We are unique in our aims; we are the only assistance dog charity focused on providing assistance dogs for disabled young people on the Isle of Wight.
As well as helping with practical tasks (picking up items, opening doors, helping dress and undress, crossing the road), our trained ability dogs help increase disabled young people's well-being, confidence and self-esteem, enabling them to go to further education or gain employment without needing full-time carers. In addition, having a jacketed assistance dog by their side means that more people feel able to come and talk to them, thereby increasing their general social interaction.
Training a puppy to be an assistance dog takes two years with a lot of dedication. We place specially selected Labrador puppies with volunteer puppy parents, who care for the puppies in their own homes, fully socialise them and start their initial training. With the help of our puppy trainers, the young dog's training continues through to assistance dog level by about 2 years when each dog is placed with a disabled young person. The disabled young people will be supported every step of the way. And we are aiming to fully fund the dogs throughout their working lives (paying for food, equipment and vet bills), so we can give the young people all the benefits without an added financial burden.
Can you help us raise more funds so we can train more puppies? We are looking for volunteers who can help us organise large and small fund raising events and activities. Alternatively, perhaps you can raise some funds for us by washing some cars, making cupcakes, or doing a sponsored parachute jump? Please get in touch if you are able to give us a little of your time.
If you would like to be a puppy parent, help with fund raising or would like to apply for one of our dogs, please contact us.