A dog that has transformed the lives of its owner’s family has won the hero pet category at the Amplifon Charles Holland Awards for Brave Britons.
Assistance dog, Mabel, from Banbury, received the prize with her 11-year-old owner, Alex White, and his mum, Michelle.
The award was presented by Falklands hero Simon Weston at a special luncheon at the Churchill War Rooms in London.
Mabel was matched with Alex by Banbury charity Dogs for Good two years ago.
Alex has high-functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, which can result in massive sensory overload making days out and holidays difficult.
Mabel, who is four, helps Alex to cross roads and accompanies him on difficult trips. She has also been trained to help Alex when he is anxious.
Alex, who celebrated his 12th birthday last Thursday, August 25, said: “Mabel means so much to me. I’m so shocked that Mabel and me won an award. It’s going to go in my bedroom.”
Mrs White said: “I’m delighted. It’s the first time he’s ever won anything. Mabel has done so much for Alex and the whole family and has changed his life. Alex doesn’t have a lot of confidence and his self esteem has been low. This award from Amplifon has given him a huge boost.
“The trip out has been a tremendous achievement for him and none of it would have been possible without Dogs For Good. He’s come so far and I’m absolutely thrilled. It has been a fantastic day at the Churchill War Rooms.”
In 2012, Michelle and Philip White moved from Silverstone with their sons Alex and Tommy to be closer to family after Alex was diagnosed with Asperger’s
Global hearing specialist Amplifon launched their search to find ‘The Best Of British’ in memory of its founder and Second World War hero Charles Holland who was honoured for his bravery by Britain and America.
Charles Holland was part of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) between 1943 and 1945 and took part in espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance missions in occupied Europe, working with local resistance groups.
The awards recognise members of the public and existing and former military personnel who have shown acts of courage.