Joel´s funding for dogs charity
A charity that provides assistance dogs to the disabled has been donated £32,000 by people inspired by a Newquay youngster’s story.
Dogs for Good has been given the money, including £20,000 from an anonymous donor, after Joel Sayer, 13, and six-year-old Labrador Caddie, proudly paraded around the main arena at Crufts 2017.
Joel, who has autism, and Caddie stole the nation’s heart in TV, radio and newspaper interviews about how his ‘guardian angel’ assistance dog had transformed his life.
The Newquay Tretherras pupil has seen his world open up after being introduced to Caddie through Dogs for Good.
Caddie is calming in times of heightened stress, lets others know he has a hidden disability and has given him confidence for everyday tasks.
The youngster previously found it difficult to leave the house and was unable to communicate fully with those around him, which led to difficulties for his whole family.
Joel planned, if he won the Friends for Life competition, to donate the full £5,000 prize money to charity Dogs for Good to sponsor a puppy, another life-changing ‘Guardian Angel’ like his beloved Caddie.
He was only able to pledge his £1,500 winnings for reaching the final at first so ‘Joel’s Appeal’ was launched immediately after the results were announced, which raised £5,600 so the charity can now help a child like him.
Caddie was trained by Dogs for Good, a charity that aims to make life-changing differences to people with disabilities.
The charity’s assistance dogs support adults and children with a range of disabilities and children with autism.
Dogs for Good also trains activity and therapy dogs to work with specialist handlers in communities and schools, helping adults with autism and people with learning disabilities amongst others.
The charity’s family dog team gives specialist training advice and support to help families of a child with autism gain support from their pet dog.
Janet Sayer, Joel’s mum, said: “Joel and I just wanted to say thank you to Dogs for Good for giving us Caddie, to all the people who voted for us in the Friends for Life competition, to the many people who donated to Joel’s Appeal to help us sponsor a puppy to help another family like ours and to the hundreds of people who donated after seeing and hearing our story on TV and radio and in the papers.
“We’re just so thrilled with the amount raised.
“Until Joel had Caddie he didn’t want to go outside, he rarely even used to smile.
“Everything about the world around him frightened him and meant that he only felt safe when he was at home.”