Just like everybody else, 2020 has been a strange year for us with unexpected challenges. Despite this, we have adapted and overcome these challenges to continue to support our clients to the best of our ability. Alongside this, we have also continued to work hard to continue to make our company and programmes even better despite the challenges this year has brought.
We'd like to thank you for all of your support this year, and thought we would share some of this years highlights.
Autism Accreditation from the National Autistic Society
This year we became the first Programme of its type ever to have been awarded Autism Accreditation from the National Autistic Society, the UK's leading charity for autistic people. The National Autistic Society's Autism Accreditation was launched over 25 years ago and sets extremely high standards. Autism Dogs CIC now joins the 500+ organizations who hold accreditation.
Enhanced Practice Commendation from the National Autistic Society
We also gained an Autism Accreditation Enhanced Practice Commendation this year! We received the commendation for two separate categories: 'Partnership with Families' and 'Furthering Knowledge of Autism'. These commendations are only award to a small number of services across the country that exceed the Autism Accreditation criteria in a particular area in supporting autistic people.
2019 KCAI Dog Training Instructor of the Year Award
Our Director of Training, Andrew Preston, was awarded the 2019 Dog Training Instructor of the Year Award at Crufts 2020! The accolade recognizes the amazing work Andrew does to improve the lives and happiness of both dogs and humans, including working as a Kennel Club Assured Instructor of Assistance Dogs.
Remote Online Training Programme
During the first lockdown, we provided an 8-week online training Programme for our clients and their families. Through this Programme, we provided sessions on a range of subjects and techniques to help them during lockdown. This Programme was made possible due to a grant from the Cheshire Community Foundation, and enabled us to further support all of our clients through the lockdown.
New company Logo
This year we debuted our new company logo, which reflects our company and the work we do! Our dogs are superheroes, helping to change the lives of our handlers for the better! They are also protected and loved by their handlers, enabling them to do their vital job to the best of their abilities. We also launched merchandise featuring our new logo which can be purchased through the shop on our Facebook page.
This year we also launched our new website! On our website, you can find lots of information, including information about the company, our Programmes, and the benefits of autism Assistance Dogs! Our new website also includes a members area (that is only accessible to our clients) so that our clients can easily access information and resources.
Collaboration with the Bradley Lowery Foundation
This year we announced a new collaboration with the Bradley Lowery Foundation! The charity helps to support families with children under 18 fundraising for any treatment or equipment not available on the NHS. They have very kindly agreed to support any families with children under 18 who are fundraising towards one of our Assistance Dog Programmes.
This year some of our families trialed our new autism-friendly tablets! These tablets are programmed to have a library of helpful resources for our clients to be able to easily access! This trial was made possible thanks to a grant from the Cheshire Community Foundation that helped us to begin the trial, and a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund that helped us to roll out the tablets to some of our families.
This year we were very fortunate to receive grants from a number of organizations. These grants have enabled us to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic, and have enabled us to continue to support our families throughout this year. We would like to once again thank the following organizations for their support this year:
We'd also like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has donated to us this year!