Pawsitive Squad Cadets

Pawsitive Squad cadets is a unique and completely free program which is open to 14 to 21 year olds with additional needs. 

The cadets provide their own tricks training and canine assisted activities virtual program with the support and guidance of head trainer, Heather Pyne. The cadets are responsible for all aspects of the program creation and delivery including scheduling, advertising, recruiting, training new cadets, running sesions to the general public via online video software and collecting feedback. 


The cadets program is split into 3 roles:

  • Young trainers - these are the people who run the sessions to the general public
  • Development cadets - these are the young people who help with designing the recruitment process for new cadets, manage advertising, manage scheduling and bookings
  • Cadet mentors - these are the people responsible for training up new young trainers, cadet mentors are also welcome to continue to run sessions to the public as well. 


So how does it work?

1) Head trainer, Heather, trains the cadet mentors how to train the young trainers

2) The cadet mentors train the young trainers on how to run canine assisted activity (CAA) sessions and tricks training sessions via microsoft teams.

3) Small teams of 2/3 young trainers decide what tricks they would like to train or what canine activities they would like to run

4) Heather and the development cadets create the adverts and schedule the CAA and tricks sessions while liasing with the cadet mentors and young trainers

5) Members of the public sign up to attend the free CAA and tricks sessions

6) Small groups of 2 or 3 young trainers and cadet mentors run the CAA and tricks sessions to the general public via zoom.

7) The development cadets collect feedback from customers and the cadet mentors and young trainers liase with Heather to determine what went well and how we can improve the program 

8) repeat for the next sessions


The cadet program aims to:

  • build the confidence and self worth of the cadets
  • teach the cadets how to problem solve, to work around their difficulties and focus on their strengths
  • empower cadets to ask for the reasonable adjustments they need in any aspects of their lives
  • build team work and leadership skills and learn to support the needs of others.
  • to develop employability and personal skills to support moving into employment or volunteering opportunities 
  • tackle the stigma and perception of disabled people
  • bring together the disabled and non disabled community
  • encourage other individuals and organisations to proactively include disabled people and consider the adjustments they can make to accomedate a variety of needs.


Having piloted the program with 5 young people mid April we have found the program to be successful and are now opening applications to join our cadet program for any of the 3 roles to begin training in August. As a free and limited space program we do have to unfortunately be selective about who can join the cadets. We base places on who we beleive will benefit most from the program. Please fill out the short application form here and we will be in touch via your preferred method of communication to discuss further. 



Apply NOW

Age (or age of child if parent applying)  
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