Project information

The Children's Project

The Children's Project is a scheme which provides physically disabled children with a trained assistance dog to help improve their quality of life. The dog is trained to assist the child in daily tasks such as retrieving a dropped object or pulling the duvet back over the child at night.

This is an on-going project

Charity information: Dogs for Good

Dogs for Good logo
  • Need


    Many children with a physical disability feel an overwhelming sense of loneliness as well as a lack of independance. Social inclusion is often difficult due to their ability to join in with games alongside their peers. Children are often lacking in confidence due to their visual difference to other able-bodied children and this can leave them feeling uphappy, frustrted and withdrawn.


    By partnering a disabled child with an assistance dog, we are enabling them in a number of ways:
    * Their confidence soars as people suddenly take an interest in their dog rather than their disability.
    * They feel empowered by being able to ask their dog to remove their socks or open the door, rather than having to ask a parent.
    * They feel a sense of deep friendship with a friend that will not judge them on their abilities and disabilities.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To train 12 new assistance dogs for physically disabled children in 2013.


    » By socialising puppies with volunteer puppy socialisers, then putting them through a carefully planned training programme before matching with a child

    What success will look like

    Success will be ensuring that 12 children are matched with new assistance dogs by the end of 2013.

    Aim 2

    To offer support and on-going training to the 50 existing child / assistance dog partnerships.


    » By ensuring that clients are visited as appropriate to ensure the welfare of the dog and the satisfaction of the beneficiaries.

    What success will look like

    Success will be ensuring that all partnerships continue to be successful in their relationships together.

  • Impact


    Independence - Increased independence enhances self-esteem, confidence and gives the child a sense of empowerment.

    Companionship - a dog provides emotional support, is non-judgmental and gives unconditional love. They often become the child's best friend.

    Social inclusion -dogs act as great social ice-breakers and open the gateway for children to communicate with others.

    Freedom - a dog brings reassurance to the child and their family.


    There is a risk that dogs will not prove suitable for being partnered with a child. We have dealt with this by ensuring there is close communication between the trainers working on our child and our adult services. Therefore dogs can be switched between services if the need arises.


    We have a dedicated team of fundraisers whose role is to manage relationships with our donors and ensure that they are kept updated with the success of the project. Key donors are invited to meet dogs in training and existing child partnerships.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £135,660

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £34,032 Puppy Socialisation The socialisation costs of 12 puppies
      £7,740 Dog Welfare/Equipment The costs of food, insurance, equipment etc during training
      £23,580 Basic Training The basic training of 12 assistance dogs
      £33,708 Advanced Training The advanced training of 12 assistance dogs
      £13,056 Residential Course The cost of running a residential training course for new clients
      £10,068 Aftercare/Instructor Support Aftercare training and support
      £13,476 Kennelling The cost of kennelling during the training period

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    The Kennel Club Charitable Trust £20,000 Guaranteed
    Other grant giving organisations £16,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The project is run from Banbury, Oxfordshire although we accept recipients from a wide range of counties across England.


    12 physically disabled children will benefit from the project but so will their wider family unit.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The charity is one of the leading, most innovative, assistance dog charities in the world and has been running this project since 2004. In this time, over 50 children have been successfully partnered with assistance dogs.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Helen McCain

    Director of Training

The Children's Project in action


funds equipment needed during the dog's training

Ghana has brought Jack out of himself and made him more sociable, he now has the confidence to play sports like other boys, albeit in a wheelchair.

Jo (mum of Jack, aged 15)