Covid-19 has had a massive impact on everyone. The families our charity supports are those with health conditions that mean they are among the most at risk from Covid-19.

As life has been so difficult over the past year, in 2021 we are faced with more families waiting for our support than ever before. They desperately need our charity to have the funds to invest into our services to help speed through this backlog and provide vital care, at a time when life is still so uncertain.

Our work is vital. It saves lives and it also saves the NHS over £19 million a year. Last year our income dropped by almost 40% as a result of the limitations brought by the pandemic and our ability of our charity and our supporter to fundraise.

Despite the current challenges, we have remained dedicated to continuing to care for our existing clients while ensuring more and more people benefit from our life changing services. We continue to maintain our services in any way we can through the coronavirus pandemic, but as a small charity this is only possible thanks to the wonderful help of our dedicated volunteers and supporters.

Our emergency response
We have developed some emergency adaptations to our services to respond to Covid-19 crisis. This includes:

Expanding our telephone service
To help tackle isolation and ensure the individuals and families we support receive the care they need, we are increasing the frequency of our phone call our support team make, especially to our most vulnerable clients.

Focusing our outreach training support programme
We are committed to continuing to support more families despite this crisis and so our Support Dog training team are changing the ways they can provide this. Our team are focused on supporting people who have recently been matched but still undergoing training with their new support dog. To those finding themselves adapting to life with a support dog while also adapting to the added restrictions their health condition may bring to life under lock down. Our dedicated team work with each individual to provide daily support to enable their support dog to flourish and give them the care they need to stay well.

Developing our digital support and education provision
So much of our work has traditionally been done face to face, but this must change. We are now using digital tools to run online training sessions and share our 30 years of knowledge and experience with assistance dogs. This is not just for the families we support but also with our over 100 volunteers who are currently locked down at home with a trainee support dog or puppy. This is helping to ensure Covid-19 does not hinder or delay their progress to becoming a fully trained life -saving support dog

Increasing our work with rescue and unwanted dogs
Our unique work with dog rescue centres and searching unwanted pet websites to find dogs with the potential to become life-changing support dogs is something we have continued to do and remain hugely proud of. The need for this aspect of our work is greater than ever, with the increase in dog ownership leading to an increase in subsequently unwanted dogs being abandoned at rescue centres.

This year we ask for your help to restart our growth.  To help our charity grow again, so we can step out of the shadow cast by the pandemic, bring hope and save so many more lives.

Support Dogs relies 100% on voluntary donations. These donations allowed us to provide 24/7 support to families and individuals who needed it most during the past year. It meant we could continue training more dogs and bring the hope of a safer, better future for more families.

 If you would like to consider supporting our work then we would be so grateful. Do please follow the links at the top of this page

Thank you so much

Rita Howson
Chief Executive