CANINE Partners has been able to buy 25 puppies to train and help deserving people, thanks to half-a-million pounds from the Southern Co-operative.
A two-year corporate partnership with regional retailer the Southern Co-operative has secured a total of £507,486 for the charity.
Canine Partners enables people with disabilities to enjoy a greater independence and a better quality of life through the provision of specially-trained dogs.
The Heyshott-based charity has now been able to purchase 25 puppies to join its training programme and help towards the cost of training 15 of these puppies to become highly-skilled assistance dogs.
“This support for Canine Partners has also helped us raise a huge amount of awareness for our work,” said Fiona Healey-Hutchinson, Canine Partners’ director of fundraising, marketing and communications.
“Last year we received more applications from people who need our help than ever before, and we created a record 67 new partnerships.
“We have been able to recruit new trainers, new animal welfare staff and have established new puppy training groups across the UK to look after the rise in new recruits.”
Gemma Lacey, head of sustainability at the Southern Co-operative, added: “Our colleagues have truly embraced this amazing charity, fundraising in our stores, funeral homes and central office with raffles, fancy dress days, competitions, cakes sales and sponsored events, but also undertaking personal challenges like skydiving, marathon running and cycling.”
The charity receives no government funding and relies on public donations.
Canine Partners’ chief executive, Andy Cook, is delighted with the donations made. “We have absolutely loved working with The Southern Co-operative over the past two years and their enthusiasm for working with us – with our puppy parents, our dogs and our partners – has been extraordinary.
“Colleagues in the business have thrown themselves into all sorts of fundraising events and challenges and raised a stupendous amount of money, which has enabled us to change so many people’s lives.
“The partnership between us cannot be underestimated in allowing us to provide our amazing dogs to people with disabilities.
“We feel humbled and privileged by how far the Southern Co-operative has gone to make this partnership work, how much has been raised and how many people have become involved.
“The past two years have been truly inspirational.”
For details visit the website www.caninepartners.org.uk