The charity was founded in 2015 by Garry Botterill and Judith Broug who both had a passionate interest in assistance dogs and PTSD.
In 2018 Service Dogs UK won the Soldiering on Award for Animal Partnership and also became ADI/ADEu Candidates with the clear aim to become full members in the coming year. Currently, the charity has 7 Assistance Dog Partnerships.
We have a team of like-minded people from all walks of life, all with a serious passion for improving the lives of PTSD veterans from the Armed Forces and Emergency Services; whether injured on the front line abroad or at home and for rescue dogs.
We have been very lucky in attracting wonderful sponsors, fantastic dog trainers, fosters, volunteers, fundraisers and others who have joined us in making the difference.
We are entirely voluntarily run.
Garry served in the Royal Navy for 6 years before joining the police and is from a family with strong connections to the military. As a frontline Police Sergeant, he has policed G8 and G20 conferences in Scotland, Ireland and Wales and the London Riots. he has been involved in several major crime investigations including high profile murders and terrorism cases. He was the Team Leader for the Sussex body recovery team in the immediate aftermath of the Shoreham Airshow crash in 2015.
He has a keen interest in dogs and their welfare and has introduced microchip scanners to his force. He developed a pilot project for veterans with PTSD to work with dogs to help comrades and colleagues. As a result of his determination to learn more about the positive effect specially trained dogs have on PTSD sufferers he was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship to research the subject in the USA and Holland in May 2015, to read his travel blog click here.
Garry is a Sussex Armed Forces Network ‘Champion’ for the police and is also a Mental Health Advocate within the organisation. He is passionate about providing help and support for veterans and colleagues in both the armed forces and emergency services and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health.
A keen runner and fitness enthusiast, Garry is Chairperson of the fitness club he runs at work. He lives in Hampshire and has two wonderful grown-up children of whom he is extremely proud! His dogs; Buddy and Max, were ‘rescues’ from Ireland. They often accompany him on his runs and although not assistance dogs they enthusiastically represent the charity as ‘Ambassadogs!’
Donna is an Integrative Psychotherapist (UKCP Registered) and a trauma specialist, with 30 years experience of working in the NHS – having originally trained as a Registered General Nurse, then as a psychotherapist at Brighton & Sussex Universities and then graduated from IATE with a Masters Degree.
She is also an Eye, Movement, Desensitisation and Reprocessing ( EMDR) trauma therapy practitioner.
She was a senior nurse in A&E and following psychotherapy training started a service for multi professionals- nurses, doctors, paramedics, allied public health personnel and serving and retained Allied Forces- supporting staff in groups and individual therapy.
In 2009 she solely introduced the HELP psychotherapy service for all BSUH NHS Trust staff, where she is Lead Psychotherapist and manages a team. The HELP service has received ‘Best Practice’ recognition from NHS Employers and NHS improvement ( NHSi)
Donna also works for the Local Authority /The Courts, with regards to child protection issues and therapeutic intervention with teenagers and families. She is a published author – co authoring a book on Mental Health and Wellbeing. Donna has a strong connection to the military, with her family having been in allied forces. She has a lifelong passion for animals, especially dogs, and has been the owner of rescue dogs in the past. She is acutely aware of the healing nature of the human / animal connection.
Charlotte has a strong administrative and data management background, having spent 10 years with Huhtamaki UK Ltd looking after Food Service and Consumer Goods product data, as well as manufacturing analysis across 5 UK sites.
As a child her beloved dog Gypsy was her best friend and this love of dogs has carried on into adulthood, with her beautiful dog, Tilly. She also has two children, so life is always busy!
Charlotte is well aware of the strong connection between humans and their dogs, demonstrated by her father’s bond with his Patterdale terrier, Dash, following a serious car accident he was involved in a few years ago. The companionship between them along with Dash’s intuitive nature shows a level of compassion and empathy which highlights the significance of the human-canine bond.