Banbury-based charity Dogs for Good is giving the month of October a doggy-themed makeover to put the ‘fun into fundraising’.
Dogtober is the latest campaign for the charity, which has come up with six ideas to encourage people to raise money including a ‘pupcake’ sale, Welly Wednesday, Dogtober walks and wearing green for the month.
Community fundraising manager, Stephanie Lawless, said the idea came from sister charity Assistance Dogs Australia.
She said: “Our own supporters have taken the idea and really run with it. Everyone seems to love it. With six different activities, there is at least one most people can do.”
If this year’s Dogtober is successful, the charity plans to run the special month in future years. Mrs Lawless said she hoped the month would increase awareness of the charity and would eventually encourage people to get more involved, even becoming a puppy socialiser.
“We are going to kick off the first week in October with something at our headquarters. We want people who take part to take photos of their events or even video and share them with us. Even though we have suggested activities, people can come up with their own. It will be exciting to see what people come up with,” she said.
“Having different people doing different things to support a local charity which in turn supports local people is a positive thing.”
Dogs for Good trains dogs to help people with disabilities and children with autism.
Among those who have benefitted from Dogs for Good funds are Banbury owner and dog team, Vickie and assistance dog, Tula.
Vickie, a former nurse, was partnered with Tula after an operation led to long-term illness.
She suffers from mental and physical fatigue as well as joint and muscle pain, balance problems with sickness and vertigo challenges.
She said: “I went from being this really sociable, outgoing person with a job that cared for others, to feeling isolated, lonely and relying on carers to help me. I had to retire from my job – something I never thought would happen in my thirties and living in sheltered accommodation, I hated having to rely on care from other people.
“I just felt empty, it felt like there was nothing of my old life left. I had too much time to think and everything was focussed on being ill. I just wanted my life back, to make my own friends and to be independent again.”
After a friend told her about Dogs for Good, Vickie applied for a dog and was delighted when the charity called her to say they’d found a suitable match. She said: “I told everyone Dogs for Good had found me a dog that could help me.
“I was trying to keep calm and think clearly, but I was just so excited.
“With Tula by my side I get the assistance I need, I no longer need carers because Tula can help me with all the physical tasks that I needed the carers for. That’s been so positive – I have my independence and my confidence back.”
As part of Dogtober, Dogs for Good Banbury Supporters’ Group will be holding a craft fair on October 7, from 11am to 3pm, at the charity’s headquarters. There will be 20 stalls selling everything from jams to ceramics. Anyone wanting to have a stall can call the charity on 01295 252600.
For more on Dogtober, visit www.dogsforgood.org.