The shop is a first for the Charity, which is based on the outskirts of Midhurst, West Sussex, and will place Canine Partner in the heart of Midhurst, close to the national training centre. It will open for business on November 5 and will remain open through the festive season until the end of January.
While staff and volunteers will be active in running the shop, so too will be our partnerships. And given that a Canine Partner assistance dog can already get cash from the cash machine and help their partner with everyday tasks such as shopping, the Charity is hopeful that the sight of one of the dogs helping at the counter will be a draw to the shop.
The new shop, it is hoped, will assist with both fundraising to train more assistance dogs to help people with disabilities and also to raise awareness of the charity’s life-changing work.
The store will sell luxury Christmas cards and gifts as well as a range of fabulous pre-loved evening wear and accessories.
Jill Green, Head of Regional Fundraising, said: “This will be a fabulous opportunity for us to be part of our community and allow us to meet more people to explain what we can do to help people with disabilities.”
The Charity works across the disability spectrum to improve the quality of life of people with a range of conditions, including Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral palsy, spinal injuries, stroke and brain injury as well as many other complex and challenging conditions, including those of injured former servicemen and women.
The dogs are trained to help with everyday tasks such as opening and closing doors, unloading the washing machine, picking up dropped items, pressing buttons and switches and getting help in an emergency. They also increase independence, confidence and self-esteem and bring companionship, a sense of security and increased social interaction.
Each dog is trained in skills which are carefully tailored to their future partner during their Advanced Training. For more information log on to www.caninepartners.org.uk.