It’s not every day that an MP gets to meet an extraordinarily clever and friendly dog with a very important job to do. On the 25 January, Dr Lee met one of the most helpful dogs in Bracknell. Lexi is a golden retriever with a very waggy tail, who works as a caring community dog here in Bracknell and helps people with a wide range of problems.
Dr Lee met Lexi and her handler Lucy at the council offices, where Lexi is based as part of the Community Dogs Scheme. The scheme aims to help people in Bracknell to cope in their own homes with a range of issues such as low self-confidence through to physical and learning disabilities and dementia.
The scheme was the inspiration of Hannah Doherty, Interim Assistant Director of Early Help and Communities, who knew that caring dogs are used extensively in Europe to help assist people in their own homes with great results. The Bracknell scheme is the very first in England.
Dr Lee also met Marion, a local lady who had worked with Lexi over several weeks. Marion had now overcome her fear of going out alone, and has been able to join a walking group.
The council agreed to give the scheme a trial and it was so successful that it has now going to be extended with another dog later on this year.
Councillor Birch, Deputy Council Leader said:
“The council’s transformation programme put residents’ needs at the heart of the services we provide. The community dogs scheme was aimed at providing people with the ability to get the best out of life and live as independently as possible. Seeing the amazing power of the human-dog bond and the life transforming impact it has had on participants has been truly outstanding. I am looking forward to hearing many more success stories as this service continues.”
Dr Phillip Lee said:
“I am delighted to see such an innovative and successful scheme launched within our Borough. It is great to see the partnership of canine carer, human specialist and resident work so well.”
To find out more about the role of a community dog in the community visit the Dogs for Good website.