Columnist Roger Salmon: Life-transforming role of Canine Partners

Roger Salmon
Roger Salmon

More than 1.21 million people use a wheel chair in the UK and a significant number of those would benefit from a canine partner.

Canine Partners tailor-make their dogs to each applicant’s individual needs, training them to help with everyday tasks such as opening and shutting doors, unloading the washing machine, picking up dropped items, pressing buttons and switches and getting help in an emergency.

They train dogs for 
the disabled with even 
the most complex 
conditions, including 
members of the HM armed forces.

The partners have a variety of different conditions, some of which have been experienced since birth and others that have been acquired during their lifetime. Every partner has a different story to tell.

These life-transforming dogs also provide practical, physiological, psychological and social benefits including increased independence and confidence as well as increased motivation and self-esteem.

A canine partner also brings companionship, a sense of security and increases social reaction.

Canine Partners receives no government funding and relies solely on public donations.

Although based in West Sussex it covers all mainland UK, with puppy walking satellites and support groups in various regions.

Bluebell walks raise money for the charity and encourage families, friends and colleagues to take part in something fun healthy and worthwhile.

Organisers are available with a pack of posters, leaflets and merchandise to promote your walk locally.

There is no limit to the numbers on the walk and it can be anything from one to 10 miles ideally taken between April and June when the bluebells are expected to be in bloom.

Information about who can apply to be matched with a Canine Partner dog can be obtained from the webpage www. or call 01730716043.

Please note that applicants must be over 18 years of age and have a disability that affects their mobility and quality of life.