Charity volunteer brings canine therapy to those living with dementia in Solihull
For me, this was an opportunity to explore how two charities close to my heart could be brought together. I’m really proud that E.ON has chosen to support Alzheimer’s Society and the partnership has taught me a lot about the impacts of dementia on those diagnosed with it and those close to them.
A big-hearted woman from Shirley who volunteers her time for charity while also helping out as a Charity Champion at her job working for E.ON has found a novel way to bring the two causes closer together, using abandoned greyhounds to bring comfort to local dementia sufferers.
Laura Dawson has been involved with Birmingham Greyhound Protection for the last four years, visiting the dogs in their kennels a couple of times a month, taking them out for walks and raising funds for the charity through supermarket bag-packing initiatives.
Working as part of E.ON’s Trading team, Laura also volunteers her time as one of the company’s Charity Champions, co-ordinating fundraising activities for Alzheimer’s Society, which is E.ON’s official charity partner.
When Birmingham Greyhound Protection was approached recently by Alzheimer’s Society and asked about the possibility of taking some dogs into the Phoenix House extra care accommodation in Solihull, Laura jumped at the chance to help both charities.
Laura said: “For me, this was an opportunity to explore how two charities close to my heart could be brought together. I’m really proud that E.ON has chosen to support Alzheimer’s Society and the partnership has taught me a lot about the impacts of dementia on those diagnosed with it and those close to them.
“Watching the members of the early onset dementia group from Phoenix House interact with the greyhounds was a really humbling experience. By their nature, greyhounds are gentle and placid dogs and they’re often used as therapy dogs. The dogs from Birmingham Greyhound Protection we took to Phoenix House – Archie, Layla and Cassidy – brought a calming influence with them, and I think everyone in the room gained from the experience.”
Alzheimer’s Society was chosen as E.ON’s official charity partner by colleague vote, and all of the money raised and donated by the company and its employees is used to fund community based Dementia Support Workers, including in the West Midlands. The two-year relationship began in the summer of 2016 with the aim of donating £200,000 by mid-2018.
For more information about E.ON’s work with Alzheimer’s Society, visit eonenergy.com/charity
Notes to editors:
Photo shows Birmingham Greyhound Protection volunteers (L-R) Laura Dawson, Jenna and Monika with dogs Archie, Layla and Cassidy at Solihull’s Phoenix House.
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