ONE brave young man is looking to a much better future thanks to the help of a friendly and assistive companion.
Oliver Smith who is just six years old, is visually impaired, has cerebral palsy whilst also living day to day life with autism and epilepsy.
In order to support him and improve his quality of life, Oliver’s mum Sarah enlisted the aid of a buddy dog, Lucy so he could be more independent and she had greater peace of mind about his future.
The Buddy Dogs Service was launched in January 2012 and matches specially selected dogs and places them within a school, organisation or family environment to help both partially sighted and also children and young people who have other disabilities such as autism.
Buddy dogs are guide dogs that haven't qualified to work as mobility assistance dogs but can improve the quality of life of a disabled children or young people.
The dogs help the person by contributing to sensory and physical development, building their confidence, increasing levels of exercise and improving their communication and mobility skills.
ubu has seen at first hand how the use of dogs can be beneficial for vulnerable people, especially supporting their journey towards greater independent living.
Therapy and buddy dogs have been integral in supporting many of the people we serve with their aspirations, personal wellbeing and building independence for themselves. One such person, living in the North West, has started walking dogs for other people as part of her own journey. It as given her a new lease of life making her go out into the community and helped her meet new people.
For more on Oliver’s story, you can visit the link here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-30699272?ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=bbc_ouch&ns_source=twitter&ns_linkname=news_central
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