Dogs for the Disabled appeals for help financing revamped training facility

Banbury charity Dogs for the Disabled is appealing to local businesses to donate funds to finance improvements to its training hall.

So far the charity has succeeded in raising £185,000 and there are further pledges totalling £30,000. With a £25,000 contribution from the organisation’s own reserve fun. Now they are only £20,000 short of their target of £260,000.

Among local businesses to donate are Nicholls Building and Plumbing Merchants who presented Dogs for the Disabled chief executive Peter Gorbing a cheque for £2,000 last weekend, while material handling and logistics firm Dematic has donated £500.

Over the years generous donations provided by Banbury’s many independent businesses firms have allowed the charity to extend its services beyond disabled children and adults and train dogs to help children and adults with other conditions such as autism. In February the UPS Foundation donated £20,000 to the project.

Mr Gorbing said:“Now we have new projects underway to support people with dementia and to train dogs to work in schools, supporting children with special needs. Yet, demand for our help continues to outstrip supply.

“We now urgently need help with the refurbishment and development of our training hall which will benefit not only the training of our dogs but also our clients, staff, volunteers and the wider community. Any contribution towards our goal would be hugely appreciated.

Built in the early 1990s, the training hall is in continual use by dogs and their trainers, and as a venue for new clients to develop their dog handling skills, staff meetings and training and demonstrating the charity’s work to potential supporters. Because the hall is one large space it can only be used effectively by one dog and trainer at a time.

The existing hall is no longer fit for purpose as it is difficult to heat, clogged up with equipment that requires storage space and the roof and windows leak.

The charity plans to extend and improve the hall and subdivide the space when required, so that several dogs can be trained simultaneously, which will lead to a significant increase in the number of dogs they can train.

A new floor and ceiling, proper heating system, additional storage and refreshment facilities are also included.

Major donors will be able to have their names displayed in the newly-transformed training hall.