Irwin Mitchell Funds New Best Friends For Adults With Disabilities

Law Firm Offers Support To Charity


Two adults with disabilities will soon have greater independence and quality of life  thanks to leading law firm Irwin Mitchell raising 10k to support the partnership of a specially trained dog with a disabled person and the purchase of a new puppy just starting out on his road to being a trained assistance dog.

The cash boost for charity Canine Partners will fund the two-week residential training course for Tod, a 16-month-old flat coat retriever, and his new owner and will also pay for ongoing support and aftercare for the partnership until the end of Tod’s working life. 

Each canine partnership has regular visits from Canine Partners’ staff to ensure that all is going well.  For the past 14 months, through puppyhood and advanced training, Tod has been taught to perform a range of tasks such as retrieving dropped items, opening and closing doors, loading and unloading a washing machine, helping with shopping and fetching help in an emergency. 

Now, the support from The Irwin Mitchell Charities Foundation will mean that Tod will make a real difference to someone with a physical disability.   

In addition to supporting a qualified partnership, the money has funded the purchase of Columbus, a black Labrador Retriever cross puppy, who is four months old and has just started on his journey to be a canine partner. 

He will live with a volunteer puppy parent for about a year before moving on to advanced training for five months where he will learn all the tasks that Todd already performs.  Eventually he too will be partnered with a person with a disability and will transform their life.

Irwin Mitchell named Canine Partners charity of the year 2010, and fundraised by hosting a series of activities including quizzes, a scavenger hunt, raffles, monthly dress down days and book sales.

Auriana Griffiths, partner at Irwin Mitchell’s London Office, said: “Canine Partners does invaluable work to help make life better for people with physical disabilities, and the staff work incredibly hard to train dogs to the highest of standards. Irwin Mitchell is delighted to be able to fund the training of two special dogs that will help make the world of difference to their future owners.”

Jill Green, Canine Partner’s head of regional fundraising, said: “As a charity that receives no government funding, we are indebted to companies like Irwin Mitchell to support us in training more dogs to help more people with disabilities.  Both Tod and Columbus will become invaluable to their future owners.”

About Canine Partners

Canine Partners is a registered charity that assists people with disabilities to enjoy a greater independence and quality of life through the provision of specially trained dogs, whose well-being is a key consideration. 

More than 1.2 million people in the UK use a wheelchair, and a significant number of those would benefit from a canine partner.  The dogs are carefully matched to the applicant’s needs and lifestyle, no matter how challenging.  They are trained to help with everyday tasks such as opening and shutting doors, unloading the washing machine, picking up dropped items, pressing buttons and switches and getting help in an emergency.  The Charity aims to train dogs to meet the needs of people with even the most complex disabilities including members of HM Armed Forces.

These life transforming dogs also provide practical, physiological, psychological and social benefits including increased independence and confidence as well as increased motivation and self-esteem. A canine partner also brings companionship, a sense of security and increases social interaction.

Canine Partners receives no government funding and relies solely on public donations and gifts in Wills.