“Call for urgent assistance to help colleagues with PTSD!”
We have launched a campaign to appeal for funding to support our Police Veterans through our programme. We have Police Officers waiting to begin the programme but without funding we cannot hope to see them through the programme and then onwards for the life of the partnership. The campaign is simply called Service Dogs UK – Police Support and our logo has been slightly modified to appeal to a Police ‘friendly’ audience. We will ‘ring fence’ any money raised under this campaign to support actual Police Officers and Staff on their journey with Service Dogs UK.
We provide specially selected ‘rescue’ dogs to Veterans of the Armed Forces and Emergency Services that they train, under our guidance, to become their fully accredited assistance dogs. This process takes around 9 months, the programme is challenging, but we are there to support and nurture the teams through it. As our ‘clients’ progress through the programme their confidence and ability grow, as does their sense of accomplishment and self-esteem. While they are training their dog to overcome distractions such as sudden noises, crowds, unexpected events, and other fears, they are also teaching themselves to deal with these matters and they become more capable and confident as a result.
Our Veterans report that the programme is a life changer (for some a life saver). They are very happy to provide testimony to the effect that the charity has on them and how far they have come as a consequence of completing the programme.
We now have three training Hubs along the south coast, and we have nearly 30 Veteran/Dog Partnerships. We use the word ‘Veteran’ to describe those from the blue light services as well as those from the military. All of our Veterans have a clinical diagnosis of PTSD or CPTSD from a Psychologist or Psychiatrist, some are retired or medically retired, others remain in the workplace on ‘restricted’ duties or in non-public facing roles. Many of our Veterans have tried every type of counselling or intervention before coming to us, for some it is the ‘last chance’ to live a more ’normal’ life where they can do some of the things that are important to them but have been lost through their PTSD.
We are accredited by Assistance Dogs International which is the ‘Gold Standard’ in the assistance dog industry and as a result are full members of Assistance Dogs UK which is the lead organisation in the UK for all accredited assistance dog charities.
Our programme has been developed through years of research and experience with international support from the leading PTSD assistance dog programmes in the USA and the Netherlands. We have been extremely successful, and our Veterans are strong and passionate advocates of our programme.
We have been successful in gaining grants from the Armed Forces Covenant and the Veterans’ Foundation to support our military Veterans. We have delivered all (and more) of what has been asked of us for these grants and we feel that we will be able to rely on future grants from military organisations as a result.
We currently get no funding from the Police or other blue light services to support the Police Officers and staff who we help. We are finding that Veterans from the Police are fast becoming the most frequent applicants and at the last graduation 5 out of the 7 people who completed the programme were Police.
We simply cannot continue to support applicants from the Police if there is no prospect of grant money to pay for their participation. We do receive donations and sponsorship from the public, but it is insufficient to pay for the costs of all of our Police Veterans on our programme.
We need your help!
Please help us to make this campaign a success by commenting about it on social media and bringing it to the attention of those who can help us reach a wider audience. We run a very tight ’ship’ at Service Dogs UK and you get a lot of ‘bang for your buck’ from us as we have a great volunteer team as well as our dedicated training team. We don’t have expensive headquarters or lots of employees so more of the money raised goes directly onto the programme.
!! We need to raise more money before we can accept any more Police onto our programme !!
We urgently require your donations! Head straight over to the POLICE SUPPORT CAMPAIGN here!