The success of Dogs for Good’s Community Dog programme with Kingwood, working with therapy dogs to help support adults with autism, has led to a new collaborative partnership with Style Acre.

Style Acre works to enhance the lives of adults with learning disabilities and autism and provides supported living, day opportunities and work development across Oxfordshire from its centres in Wallingford, Didcot and Banbury.

The new partnership aims to help address the developmental needs of Kingwood and Style Acre clients in Oxfordshire and Berkshire. By working together, Kingwood and Style Acre believe they can achieve the best outcomes for the people they support.

Dogs for Good’s Community Dog handler Sarah Tosh-Robb has been working with Kingwood for three years, designing personalised and engaging programmes of activity with the dogs for adults with autism to help them meet their individual needs.  These have included self-care, social inclusion, road safety, anxiety reduction, confidence in new and busy places and reducing a fear of dogs.

A collaborative evaluation of the work with Kingwood and Style Acre will deliver valuable information about the benefits of Animal Assisted Intervention and its potential to improve health and well-being.

Style Acre and Kingwood are now working together to make joint funding applications to enable them to extend their partnership with Dogs for Good for three years from January 2017 and to enable Dogs for Good’s handler to work with them over four days a week.

“We are delighted to working on this exciting and important programme with Dogs for Good and The Kingwood Trust. It will enable many people we support to develop coping and learning strategies and achieve individual goals -which will have a lasting impact on their ability to live their lives to the full.  It will help them to do all the things most people take for granted – whether that be to cross the road safely, go to the shops, go to the doctor, take a walk or feel safe leaving the house.” Chris Ingram, Chief Executive, Style Acre

“Kingwood has seen first-hand the positive impact that dogs can have in the lives of adults with autism. It has been an inspiring project to be a part of and widening the collaboration to enable more people to benefit is terrific. Kingwood and Style Acre are both strong supporters of partnership working on shared goals that help people with autism and/or a learning disability”.  Kate Allen, Kingwood Chief Executive.

“Our work with Kingwood has highlighted the significant potential of our Community Dog programme.  Through the combination of a specially trained dog and skilled handler, we are able to help people with a range of individual needs to develop their skills and confidence and to become more confident.” Hayley Stimpson, Animal Assisted Intervention Development Advisor, Dogs for Good.

Find out more about Community Dog.