Wheelchair user taking on walking challenge inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore for assistance dog charity

WHEELCHAIR user Mark Cooper is walking 30 widths of his six metre lounge a week until the end of March to raise vital funds for national assistance dog charity Canine Partners.

36-year-old Mark is a full-time wheelchair user and uses a walking frame for exercise therapy.

Mark has been inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore’s fundraising efforts for the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic and is aiming to raise over £1,000 for the Canine Partners, as he is on the waiting list for one of the charity’s amazing assistance dogs.

“I’ve applied for a canine partner myself and I know fundraising has been difficult due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” says Mark, who is a civil servant from Edinburgh.

“I wanted to raise money for the charity as I am passionate about disabled people being as independent as possible.”

Canine Partners trains amazing assistance dogs to transform the lives of people with disabilities, boosting their confidence and independence.

The dogs are taught a range of everyday tasks including picking up and fetching items, opening doors and helping to undress a person. They can even help to load and unload a washing machine and they can fetch help in an emergency.

“I didn’t originally set a fundraising goal for my challenge, I was just hoping for a couple of hundred pounds,” says Mark.

“I am very shocked by the support but also very pleased with the money I’ve raised for Canine Partners.”

Mark is doing his challenge as part of Canine Partner’s Fit for 30 Challenge, where challengers think of any physical or mental wellbeing challenged based around the number 30 that suits their skills.

“I was inspired by Captain Tom as I use a walking frame for exercise therapy but I didn’t train for the challenge,” says Mark.

“I just doubled what I normally do in a week and decided to tie it in to the Fit for 30 Challenge.”

Applications for a canine partner assistance dog are currently closed, so every penny raised will help the charity to train more dogs for people living with physical disabilities across the UK.

The Fit for 30 Challenge is running until 31 March 2021, so there is still time to sign up and take part to raise vital funds for Canine Partners.

To find out more and take part in the Fit for 30 Challenge, please visit caninepartners.org.uk/fitfor30challenge

To donate to Mark’s Fit for 30 Challenge, please visit justgiving.com/fundraising/mark-cooper49


About Canine Partners

Canine Partners is a registered charity that assists people with disabilities to enjoy a greater independence and quality of life through the provision of specially trained dogs, whose well-being is a key consideration.  

More than 1.2 million people in the UK use a wheelchair, and a significant number of those would benefit from a canine partner.  The dogs are carefully matched to the applicant’s needs and lifestyle, no matter how challenging.  They are trained to help with everyday tasks such as opening and shutting doors, unloading the washing machine, picking up dropped items, pressing buttons and switches and getting help in an emergency.  The Charity is working in partnership with Help for Heroes, and aims to train dogs to meet the needs of people with even the most complex disabilities including members of HM Armed Forces.

These life transforming dogs also provide practical, physiological, psychological and social benefits including increased independence and confidence as well as increased motivation and self-esteem. A canine partner also brings companionship, a sense of security and increases social interaction.

Canine Partners relies on donations to fund the creation of its life-transforming partnerships.

For further press information contact Elly Fiddy
T: 01730 716031, E: ellyf@caninepartners.org.uk

Canine Partners, Mill Lane, Heyshott, Midhurst, West Sussex GU29 0ED
T 08456 580480   F 08456 580481   E info@caninepartners.org.uk

Visit Canine Partners’ Web site at www.caninepartners.org.uk

Registered charity number 803680                                                      
Registered in Scotland  SCO39050

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