As a non-profit organisation, we keep the costs for our assistance dog program as low as possible, at £45 a month (£540 per year) for in training teams and £12.50 per month (£150 per year) for fully trained partnerships. There are several ways you may be able to obtain funding support for your assistance dog:
1) Using your short breaks funding from your local authority - This is something you would need to discuss with your local authority but many of our current clients have been granted permission to use their short breaks fund towards our weekly classes, canine-assisted activities and camps.
2) Grants from disability-specific charities - There are lots of charities that provide grants to disabled children and young people, each coming with its own specific eligibility criteria. When looking to obtain a grant towards assistance dog training from charities, we recommend you apply to charities that offer support for your specific disability. Even if these charities are unable to support you, they may be able to signpost you towards other potential funders. Please note: Family Fund does not offer funding towards assistance dog training but may be able to contribute to the purchase price of your dog if you have not yet brought a dog.
3) Grants from accessing work & building better opportunities (BBO) projects and programs in your local area - Pawsitive Squad clients have successfully obtained funding towards their training through this route. Simply search for your local access to work/ building better opportunity project provider if you're aged 16 to 25 years old and need your dog to be trained as an assistance dog in order for you to be able to access employment. If they're not able to provide funding support they may be able to signpost you to potential funding sources.
4) Crowdfunding - There are several crowdfunding platforms where sharing your assistance dog aim may enable you to get donations from the general public towards your journey. Tree of Hope offers a crowdfunding platform through their charity which has lots of benefits including being able to add gift aid to donations and being more likely to obtain matched funding and corporate funding. Other crowdfunding platforms which may be suitable include 'Go Fund Me' and 'Just Giving'.
5) Personal Health Budgets from the NHS - If your receives continuing care from the NHS or you receive NHS Continuing Healthcare you're eligible for a personal health budget. In some circumstances, you may be able to use this personal health budget to fund your assistance dogs training. You can read about an assistance dog (not with Pawsitive Squad) who was trained using their personal budget here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/personal-health-budgets/phbs-in-action/patient-stories/jackie-and-kingstons-story/.
6) US - Where a young person has a significant life-threatening/ life-limiting condition, we may be able to offer a discounted price to enable you to access the program. This would only be available to families who provide evidence of financial hardship and where all other avenues of potential funding have been exhausted.