Banbury group raises more than £14k for Dogs for Good charity

The pitter patter of tiny paws could soon be heard at Dogs for Good thanks to the money raised by the charity’s Banbury & District Supporters’ Group.

Banbury woman Karen Williams with her Dogs for Good assistance dog Iggy. (photo from Dogs for Good charity)
Banbury woman Karen Williams with her Dogs for Good assistance dog Iggy. (photo from Dogs for Good charity)

The Banbury group, which has more than 30 members, has raised £14,306.63 for the charity during 2020/2021.

This could be used in a variety of ways, including to buy 14 life-changing puppies for the charity’s assistance dog service.

Banbury-based Karen Williams, aged 43, is a member of the group and has a nine-year-old yellow Labrador assistance dog called Iggy.

Karen has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Iggy helps her with everyday tasks like picking up dropped items, pressing access buttons, pushing down the footplates on her wheelchair, helping her to get dressed and undressed and he will raise the alarm by barking should Karen need help.

Karen said: “I was blessed with the arrival of Iggy nearly seven years ago. My life before Iggy was unrecognisable. I stayed at home all day every day, only going out to doctor's appointments.

“Having Iggy by my side means I can go out when I want, and stay at home when I want.

"Iggy has given me a purpose. I love being part of the Banbury Supporter Group and helping to raise money for Dogs for Good – it’s my way of giving back.”

During lockdown the many talented members within the group have been busy making and selling crafts and knitted items to support the charity.

Karen’s mum Pat was one of three ladies from Middleton Cheney who knitted novelty tea cosies to sell on eBay, and they sold 150 of them to Park Hotel in Kettering, which resulted in a £400 donation for Dogs for Good.

The Banbury group’s tireless efforts last year spanned a variety of other fundraising activities, including selling books, CD’s and videos on Music Magpie, selling donated items on eBay, a few in-person collections and talks pre-Covid, virtual talks and collections, virtual dog shows during lockdown, online craft sales and socially distanced car boot sales.

All told, this has raised enough money to:

• Purchase 14 puppies for their assistance dog scheme or

• Cover the annual insurance cost for 41 puppies or dogs in training or

• Pay the annual vets fees for 19 years for the Charity’s Family Dog demo dogs

Dogs for Good’s fundraising manager, Stephanie Lawless, said: “Our volunteer Supporter Groups have always been incredibly dedicated to the charity and have repeatedly gone above and beyond to raise funds for Dogs for Good.

“Faced with the pandemic their innovation and creativity in both creating online fundraising opportunities and also physically crafting items to sell or raffle, has been just amazing.

“The usual fundraising activities – collections in supermarkets, charity tables at events and talks, were all cancelled from February/March last year and of course are still cancelled now.

“Yet our group members have raised this incredible amount of money during a year of so many challenges, and we couldn’t be more grateful.”

In the last 21 years, Dogs for Good Supporter Groups nationwide have raised over 1.7 million; helping to train more dogs that go onto help people with disabilities overcome specific challenges and enrich and improve lives and communities.

Dogs for Good receives no government funding and relies entirely on donations, fundraising and volunteers to continue its pioneering work. To get involved call the Community Fundraising team on 01295 262600 (select Option #4). To donate visit: dogsforgood.orgDogs for Good’s assistance dogs support adults and children with a range of disabilities and also children with autism, providing practical support, increasing confidence and enabling greater independence.