Banbury charity Dogs for Good has announced a new partnership with Style Acre to help adults with autism.
The new collaboration comes off the back of the success of a community dog programme with The Kingwood Trust in Reading, which has seen people with autism working with therapy dogs.
Style Acre enhances the lives of adults with learning disabilities and autism and provides supported living, day opportunities and work development across Oxfordshire from its centres in Wallingford, Didcot and Banbury.
Dogs for Good’s community dog handler Sarah Tosh-Robb has been working with Kingwood for three years, designing personalised programmes of activity with the dogs for adults with autism including self-care, road safety, anxiety reduction, confidence and reducing a fear of dogs.
Style Acre and Kingwood are now working together to make joint funding applications to enable them to extend their partnership with Dogs for Good for three years from January 2017 and to enable Dogs for Good’s handler to work with them over four days a week.
“We are delighted to be working on this exciting and important programme with Dogs for Good and The Kingwood Trust.
“It will enable many people we support to develop coping and learning strategies and achieve individual goals, which will have a lasting impact on their ability to live their lives to the full. It will help them to do all the things most people take for granted, whether that be to cross the road safely, go to the shops, go to the doctor, take a walk or feel safe leaving the house,” said Chris Ingram, chief executive of Style Acre.
Hayley Stimpson, animal assisted intervention development advisor, at Dogs for Good said: “Our work with Kingwood has highlighted the significant potential of our Community Dog programme.”