Why we need your help...
We currently have over 50 dogs on our program at various stages of training who have helped change the lives of over 100 vulnerable people. With significant increase in demand, our aim is to improve the lives of more people, helping them overcome their challenges and reach their full potential through training more Therapy Dogs and continuing to expand and provide our services.
It costs approximately £40,000 to train each of our Therapy Dogs to become a fully-fledged assistance dog. We rely on donations from the families participating in the programme, grants and fundraising for the ongoing training costs and provision of the dogs. We need your help to continue our journey! Even a small contribution will go a huge way into providing new opportunities for vulnerable people. Take a look below at the amazing prizes!
Bale's Buddies was founded in 2016 by Alison and James through a personal challenge with one of their children, Harry, being diagnosed with autism and seeing the connection between him and their dog. Seeing the positive impact that their elderly dog had on Harry and existing Therapy Dog programs unsuitable (due to costs and waiting lists!), they decided to put together their knowledge of psychology and dog training and train a puppy themselves. Along came Bale…Harry was previously non-verbal, unable to attend school, had disturbed sleeping patterns and issues eating. Bale – now a fully trained assistance dog, is continuing to support Harry to reach his full potential. Harry now uses a degree of spoken language, is able to sleep through the night, more independent, able to safely participate in activities and sports and so much more! Passionate to allow other families an accessible and affordable Therapy Dog Training scheme and the chance to overcome the challenges of special educational needs (SEN) through Animal Assisted Therapy – Bale’s Buddies was born.
Bale's Buddies plays a major role in the transformation of the lives of children with additional needs and disabilities and their families. We provide a structured 2 year training program starting with finding a suitable puppy, to working with that puppy and child (and their family) right the way through the training process until the puppy becomes a fully-fledged assistance dog. What we offer is unique, providing bespoke training plans tailored to each child's and family’s needs. Our Therapy Dogs provide long term support on many levels, empowering individuals to develop appropriate life skills building positive behaviours, inspiring independence, developing social & cognitive skills and enhancing communication, making what may seem impossible, possible.
Not only do we have our 1:1 family dogs, we also have our school dogs and community dogs. Our school dogs are situated in mainstream and SEN schools, reaching hundreds of disadvantaged children, helping them to complete activities which they may struggle with such as reading, writing, basic movements and socialising. Our community dogs Bale, Grace, Arthur and one of our newest recruits Mabel, visit nursing homes, hospitals and those families unable to take on a dog at the moment, providing people of all ages and abilities with Animal Assisted Therapy and an opportunity to continue their development mentally and physically.
For all the staff, Bale's Buddies isn't just work, it is a rewarding journey seeing the difference a Therapy Dog can make to a vulnerable person, allowing them to experience life again.
Take a look at our social media and website for more information and to see what our 4-legged friends get up to!
Thank you for your support!
Let's talk about those all important prizes...
Thanks to some amazing organisations and companies we have some incredible prizes to give away, including:
- Gel manicure from Elle's tanning and beauty
- £10 voucher for Big Bakes Bakery
- Adult and Child admission for Cotswold Wildlife Park (where you can even take your dogs!)
- Bungee Jump! from Buy a Gift
- Kayaking experience for 4 at Devon Windsurf & Canoe Centre
- £20 voucher Bike and Paddlesports hire at Saddles & Paddles
- Family ticket to Abbotsbury Swannery
- 2 bottles of fine wine
- Box of chocolates
- Bottle of whiskey
- Membership to Haldon Forest
- Family ticket for Dartmouth Steam Railway
- £10 voucher for China Blue
- £20 voucher for Blue Diamond Garden Centres
- And a very special crocheted Bale who is absolutely gorgeous!