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Assistance Dogs Australia barking for joy

01/10/2015

Assistance Dogs Australia will provide workshops to help families living with autism in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire following their success in the SUEZ Community Grants Program.

Assistance Dogs Australia will provide workshops to help families living with autism in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire following their success in the SUEZ Community Grants Program

Assistance Dogs Australia is a national charity that trains Labradors and Golden Retrievers to perform everyday tasks for people with disabilities.

The funding will help the charity fund a program to help children with autism. The Parents Autism Workshop Support (PAWS) program brings together the parents of children with autism with specialist dog instructors to train and utilise the skills of a dog as a ‘therapy tool’. The workshops aim to help families make an informed decision about whether to apply for a specially trained Autism Assistance Dog, and investigate the options available to them.

Over the past 18 months, Assistance Dogs Australia have seen requests to take part in the PAWS workshop series more than double. Fiona Corner, Senior Fundraiser of Assistance Dogs Australia was very excited to hear the news about the grant.

“The $5,000 SUEZ Community Grant will enable us to run the PAWS workshop series for ten families living with Autism. This support will help young children diagnosed with Autism, their siblings and parents,” Fiona said. .

“The workshops will also provide an education training platform for specialist practitioners in Autism such as Occupational and Speech Therapists and Special Need Teachers,” Fiona added.

SUEZ Corporate Affairs Manager, Luke Schepen, presented the cheque to the Assistance Dogs Australia on Wednesday at the launch of the Dogtober campaign in Martin Place.

Mr Schepen said the grant was particularly special as it was the company’s ‘Employee Choice’ grant recipient. Employees from SUEZ’s sites and facilities across Australia were given the opportunity to vote for the group, out of five, who they felt made the biggest impact on the community.

“The team at SUEZ believes in being active and engaged in communities in the communities which we live, work and deliver our services. The work of Assistance Dogs Australia overwhelmingly resonated with the entire team at SUEZ, so it’s great to see so much support for such a worthy cause that will help families in the Sutherland Shire,” he said.

SUEZ launched the company’s community grants program in 2013 and to date has provided more than $250,000 in funding across Australia. For more information on the SUEZ Community Grants program or to register to receive information about the next grant round in 2016 visit www.suezcommunitygrants.com.au/.

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