Inspiring Stories

Living with a hidden disability

Support Dogs’ clients have a wide range of physical disabilities that may not be immediately obvious to the casual observer.

Young mum Casey Catlin, who has lived with severe arthritis since she was a toddler, knows better than most how outward appearances bear little reality to the levels of pain and disability she has to live with just about every day.

Still the best of friends

Ethan Dyson was a small boy when  autism assistance dog Jay came into his life. Now he’s a teenager, is his canine carer still making a difference?

The past 12 years have not been easy ones for Ethan and his mum Mandy Dyson.  Until he was two Ethan was advanced for his years.  Then a month after his second birthday, for no apparent reason, he turned into a completely different child overnight. Autism was diagnosed.

Youngster overcomes her disability to wins charity award

A young girl with severe specialist healthcare needs has been named Fundraiser of the Year by Support Dogs.

Nine-year-old Harriette Parker-Harrison has complex health needs after being born prematurely and spending the first two years of her life in intensive care, and can’t walk or talk.

But she raised more than £500 for the assistance dog charity after taking part in the Junior Great North Run earlier this year, beating her fundraising target by more than £50.

Angela’s reward for her devotion to Support Dogs

Disabled Doncaster woman Angela Cooke has been awarded Client Fundraiser of the Year award by  Support Dogs.

Angela, who has a number of health issues caused by diabetic complications and hypermobility, relies on her support dog Freya to enable her to lead an independent life.

But although she struggles to walk and often needs a wheelchair to get out and about, with the help of family and friends Angela managed to complete 28 miles of the Taff Trail in South Wales earlier this year, raising almost £400 for the charity that has transformed her life.

Meet our new Foster Carers of the Year

When Vicky Peace and Ceri Beard watched yellow Labrador Mitch officially qualify as a support dog they felt a huge sense of pride.

The couple had provided a loving home for Mitch during the long months of training at the Support Dogs’ national training centre near their home in Sheffield, sharing his successes and failures and watching him develop a bond with his human partner Sheila Craik.

Sheila’s support dogs:  helping her make the most of life

Seventy-one-year-old Sheila Craik  credits her two support dogs with helping her though some of the worst times of her life.

Despite looking healthy, and her outgoing, cheery personality, Sheila, a retired Church of Scotland parish minister, has lived with a number of conditions for many years – diabetes, asthma, severe heart disease, the auto-immune condition Sjögren’s syndrome, agoraphobia, labyrinthitis and fibromyalgia. Not to mention encroaching deafness and sight problems.