A fantastic milestone: We’ve hit 400 active partnerships!
Posted 6 months ago in the A big thank you category
We have reached a fantastic milestone - 400 active partnerships across the UK!
We have been training amazing assistance dogs for people with physical disabilities since 1990, and have matched those dogs with over 700 people since our humble beginnings!
Across the UK today we now have 400 active partnerships – that’s 400 dogs out there helping 400 people lead a life of greater independence.
This is an exciting milestone for us, as we receive no government funding and rely solely on the generosity of the public, businesses, charitable trusts and legacies. Without these donations, we would not have been able to make these perfect pairings that are transforming lives every day.
The journey begins for a young puppy when they move in with their puppy parents. These dedicated volunteers will teach their puppy basic training, socialisation skills and the beginnings of the task work training that they will develop when they go to “big school” at one of our two training centres.
From our two training centres in Heyshott, West Sussex and Osgathorpe, Leicestershire, we provide advanced training to 40+ dogs at any one time. Upon meeting and being matched to a suitable partner, their training is tailored to meet the specific needs of that person.
As you can imagine, a lot of hard work goes into the training – for both trainers and dogs!
After this, the partnership is reunited to begin the tough job of learning to work together, developing the skills the dog has been taught and tailoring them further. This on-site training lasts 2 weeks before the partnership are ready to go home and start their life together.
Each and everyone of the Purple Army are incredibly proud of the part they play in forming these amazing partnerships.
A huge thank you to all the staff, volunteers and supporters who have worked tirelessly to support us in our mission to transform lives.