13th June 2020 - Today we have returned to offering face to face assistance dog public access assessments with strict policies in place to minimise the risk of virus. These are:
Our return started with a bang as one of our amazing dogs, Lilly, passed their gold award & public access assessment. Lilly is an amazing rescue dog, she supports her two young handlers by providing autism assistance. Lilly does really helpful tasks including deep pressure therapy, finding the young people when they run off and dual handling.
2nd June 2020 - Today marked a very special achievement for us at Pawsitive Squad. Our junior trainers ran their first session which was a dog themed scavenger hunt. The session went very smoothly, the customers all enjoyed the sessions and our junior trainers did a fantastic job.
The junior trainers are part of our very special 'train the trainer' pilot program. In this program we have recruited 5 young people aged 14 to 20 with additional needs or disabilities and are training them up to run canine assisted activity and tricks training sessions. The young people are split into two teams and each team will run 8 sessions each as the pilot program. Within their teams the young people work together to create successful running sessions, working the enhance each others strengths and support each other difficulties.
For our junior trainers these sessions are all about learning how to adapt the situation, work with others and finding ways to acheive these sessions, however works for the young people - their way is the right way. By learning to problem solve and seeing they have so skills and abilities we hope the junior trainers will gain improved confidence and self worth.
These sessions are also about changing the view some people in society have of disabled people. Still, disabled people face significant stigma, stereotyping and discrimination in their lives. By demonstrating that disabled young people can work, offer skills and take on leadership roles we hope to challenge these wrong perceptions.