This year, for some reason, it has been harder than usual, and the charity is now very short of volunteer help.
The Sandown-based charity is particularly short of suitable volunteer puppy parents and as a result may not be able to fulfil its quota of new puppies this year.
Carol Court, the charity’s CEO and a volunteer herself, says:
“We are a small Island charity and we like to take on six new baby puppies each year. The training takes about two years, so if we are not able to find puppy parents for them all, we will not be able to help as many disabled young people in two-years’ time. Having volunteers is critical to the work of the charity here on the Island.
“Being a volunteer puppy parent is definitely hard work and needs people who are very dedicated, have enough time and energy to devote to the puppy, and have the right home set-up. However, it is very rewarding. People often worry about ‘giving the puppy back’. Although there is no doubt that this is the hard part (we do give you another puppy to help), seeing the puppy you nurtured go on to change the life of a disabled young person far outweighs that pain”.
If you have some time on your hands, Ability Dogs 4 Young People need:
• Volunteer Puppy Parents – to love and train the puppies. The charity provides food and equipment for the puppy and cover all veterinary costs while the Ability Dog puppy is with you. As part of the team, you will be fully supported at weekly puppy training classes and at home. You can enjoy the fun of watching each puppy grow as he or she learns what it takes to be a fully trained Ability Dog. As all of our Ability Dogs stay on the Island, you will always be able to follow their progress.
• Foster Puppy Parents who can look after a training Ability Dog puppy for short periods.
If you are unable to help with these roles, but are able to spare some time, AD4YP are looking for volunteers to help in Charity Shops, with fundraising, admin and general maintenance. You will be joining a passionate and sociable team who were recognised with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2018.
Ability Dogs 4 Young People IoW is an Island charity which trains assistance dogs to improve the lives of physically and mentally disabled young people and children on the Isle of Wight.