Each year, at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire, the Dogs for Good charity host their annual fun day. What started off as an enjoyable way to get everyone together has grown into something different; in the best possible way! Initially, it was a chance for staff, volunteers and supporters to get together with dogs and pups-in-training, working dogs and their owners, and retired dogs. However, in 2016 this format changed. The Dogs for Good Fun Day was opened up to the general public for the very first time and the event became a way for people to learn how the charity works and to witness just how much it can offer help and support.
At The Insurance Emporium, we have been hugely impressed by Dogs for Good and the unbelievable work that they do; helping to match up people with disabilities and assistance dogs. We thought this year’s event was a great opportunity to visit and see first-hand exactly what a difference Dogs for Good makes to people’s lives. On Saturday 17th June 2017, our Business Relationship Manager Jo Milne took her two children to the Dogs for Good Fun Day and we are lucky to be able to report back on this magnificent and fulfilling day!
A glorious day and so much to do
With the country basking in an unexpected heatwave, it was a perfect day for the event – if a little warm! Members of the public flocked in to visit the stalls and arenas and those lucky enough were able to meet a special guest. Ben Rowlings, Paralympic wheelchair racer, was on hand to chat about his experience at Rio 2016 and discuss exactly what it takes to hold the British record over four different distances. Jo Milne was impressed with just how much there was to see and do saying “The event was huge! Way bigger than I expected it to be. It had a number of indoor rings, which were used for demonstrations and pet dog classes. Outside it had the same amount for people to try agility and fly ball with their pet dogs.”
Witnessing the great work
Each year, Dogs for Good helps hundreds of families across the UK by training assistance dogs to help adults and children with physical disabilities, as well as children with autism. These incredible animals help with everyday practical tasks that would otherwise be impossible. It can be easy to forget just how much of a difference Dogs for Good make but Jo had first-hand experience on the day. “A highlight for me personally was meeting the Ford family, who featured in last year’s DIY SOS Big Build programme just before they received their dog Maggie. Jude Ford told me that the difference Maggie has made to her husband Richard’s life is immeasurable, that he now has his independence back and they also have an amazing family pet, who is just brilliant with their three boys.”
More than just a fun day
Jo told us exactly what the event meant to her. “It was really important for me to attend and support the DFG Family Funday with my children, to show them the amazing work that this charity does. I had the chance to not only catch up with their amazing staff, who I deal with on a daily basis, but more significantly the volunteers who donate their time (and money) to such a great cause.” And there was plenty more for the Milnes to get involved in too. The West Midlands Police Unit put on a great display, there was an opportunity to watch some falconry and Jo’s family’s particular favourite was the wheelchair basketball. “My children loved the wheelchair sports events – so much so, I am now researching local disabled basketball teams for my son, as they also require able-bodied players! I’m already looking forward to next year’s event.”
If you want to find out more about Dogs for Good or their annual Fun Day event then just visit www.dogsforgood.org and discover just how much this innovative charity can change people’s lives.
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