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New canine crusader to support Bracknell Forest residents

Two dogs - Lexi and Ned

Bracknell Forest’s community dog service has expanded with the addition of Ned, a new four-legged employee working with Bracknell Forest Council and Dogs for Good to support residents.

Ned is the council’s second community dog. He is a 3-year-old yellow Labrador cross golden retriever and he will be joining existing dog, Lexi, and their handler, Lucy Purchese, helping residents improve their independence and well-being.

So far Lexi has already helped 10 people develop confidence to access the community independently; helping young people re-engage with school and helping adults and children with a range of needs to develop road safety and travel skills.

Ned is currently in the advanced stage of his community dog training and will be working with residents over the next few weeks. Having the 2 community dogs will allow the service to work with more individuals. It also provides the opportunity to take on some group work, with one anxiety group and one Dementia group planned for the Autumn.

Cllr Dale Birch, Executive Member for Adult Services, Health and Housing, said:

“We are delighted to welcome a new member into the community dog service. We look forward to seeing this service reach more residents as it goes from strength to strength.”

Hayley Stimpson, AAI Services Development Adviser at Dogs for Good, said:

“We’re pleased to be working with Bracknell Forest Council in this innovative social care partnership. The early results are very promising, demonstrating just what can be achieved when you bring people and dogs together in a planned way to support adults and children in our communities.”

Lucy Purchese, Community Dog Practitioner, Adult Social Care at Bracknell Forest Council said:

“Ned has the perfect temperament for the role of a community dog and is thoroughly enjoying the activities and tasks that are involved. He has become the best of friends with Lexi and I am delighted that he has joined us in helping people in the local area.”

You can find out more on our community dog service page.