IT’S a tale to make man’s best friend bark with delight.
Dorset dog charity Woofability has been given a boost after a donation which will enable it to train three new labrador puppies to work with children.
Children in Need gave the organisation £9,000 after work was done to secure the grant by Dorchester-based Dorset Community Action.
Woofability trains dogs to help disabled children and adults with all sorts of tasks from getting dressed and undressed, to pressing a button at the traffic lights or emptying the washing machine.
However, the practical help is not as important as the emotional support a dog gives.
Andy Clarke of the charity said: “By far the most important benefit of having an assistance dog is giving confidence to someone to become more independent.”
He said the new labrador puppies are now being ‘socialised’ by a team of volunteers who are teaching them good manners and getting them used to the sights and sounds they are likely to encounter during their day to day work.
“When they are about 18 months old, they will spend time with a Woofability trainer who will work with them for another 6 months, before placing them with suitable children.
Mr Clarke said the funding success was due in part to the support the organisation received from Dorset Community Action (DCA), an independent organisation that offers advice and support to community groups on funding and other issues.
DCA’s funding advisor, Natasha Senior, helped Woofability put a funding strategy in place, recommended that the charity approached Children in Need for a grant, and gave them support with the application.
She said: “Woofability had some great ideas for developing a project for children and we were able to help them develop this into a funding bid.”
DCA supports voluntary and community groups across Dorset with funding advice and other matters.
In order to get any further information about the charity’s services, which include training as well as one-to-one support, see the website at dorsetcommunity action.org.uk