Okay, this was the article in the Irish Mail on Sunday last highlighting the difficulty the Assistance Dog Programme is facing ....
If you double click on the pages they will biggify (thank you Helen!) - One of the main points made was from Padraig Mallon, IGDB Chief Executive " To date, this programme has been supported by a series of once off grants from the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and the Department of Education, for which we have been extremely grateful. While lobbying continues, there is no statutory funding in place for 2010 and this situation severely threatens the programme's future"
We have always been huge supporters of the Programme - ever since Murray and Clive got together in June 2006! We have been through so much together, great fun times and great learning times.
There have been tears, laughter, hugs and kisses and many wonderful achievements - and all because of the working partnership that they are and have developed into over the past three years.
We would really hate to think that this Programme is under threat because of a lack of Government funding going forward and a serious drop in overall fundraising income. We would like to highlight to some of the important people in our Government - who have met us and talked to us and who do know the great difference that the Assistance Dog Programme is making - just how important it is that we continue to receive funding into next year and beyond.
Please could you take two minutes out of your day to click on the names below and send a message to our Minister for Education - Batt O'Keeffe and Minister for Children & Youth Affairs - Barry Andrews supporting the Assistance Dog Programme!
You only have a leave a few words " Please support the Assistance Dog Programme for children with autism by providing more funding for this vital service" is enough! The more people that are seen to support and lobby support for the Assistance Dog Programme - the better. We would really love our Government Ministers to realise that so many of our friends both at home in Ireland and all around the world know so much about the Progamme and support us! If you would like to leave Batt and Barry a longer message please do!!
There could be no better gift this Christmas for many autistic children and their families than the reassurance that the Programme will be providing more Assistance Dogs so more children like Murray will obtain greater freedom, independence and confidence from a partnership with an Assistance Dog like Clive!
If you would like to help guarantee the future of Assistance Dog Programme also by fundraising - you can contact the Irish Guide Dogs Fundraising Team on lo-call 1850 506 300 (if you live in the Republic of Ireland) or visit their website http://www.guidedogs.ie/