Since 1988, Dogs for Good has supported people with a range of needs including physical disabilities, autism, dementia and learning disabilities. The charity enables them to lead more independent lives through the help of trained dogs which can, in turn, improve mental health.
Poppy’s Picnic founder, Dylan Watkins said: “From bullying throughout childhood, to my own self doubts as an entrepreneur, mental health is something I’m acutely aware of and passionate about improving. My life changed for the better when Poppy, my miniature schnauzer and inspiration behind the business came into my life.
“The love and support she and our other pups provide me with daily is something truly special. I want as many people as possible to experience the therapeutic power of dogs, and that’s why we’ve chosen to support Dogs for Good. I am overjoyed to see the difference they are making to the lives of people with physical disabilities and conditions that benefit so greatly from having dogs as a support system.”
Lucy Vincent, director of marketing at Dogs for Good, added: “As a charity, Dogs for Good relies entirely on the money raised through donations, fundraising and volunteers to continue our pioneering work. Therefore, donations such as this from Poppy’s Picnic are always very welcome and will help us to continue making life-changing differences to people with disabilities.”
Poppy’s Picnic’s ambassador and former Emmerdale actress, Gemma Oaten, introduced the dog food manufacturer to the charity.
She said: “Mental health comes in all shapes and sizes. For people with disabilities, or those that need extra care and support, a dog can be a life changing and liberating thing. The work that Dogs For Good is doing to train, support and help them to get the most out of their relationship with their dog is invaluable and will in turn have an impact on their mental health by providing relief and companionship.
“As someone that battled with anorexia as a girl for 13 years, my dogs Candy and Cindy were my rocks in those dark times. And now I am well and living my life to its fullest, I have my own dog Ruby Tuesday, and she provides love, support and a distraction that makes an incredible difference to my everyday life when I have my struggles with anxiety.”