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Our New Charity Partner

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GivingBack, our Portico charity forum, is in its 10th year.  Over the years we have raised money for various charities, our most recent being the wonderful partnership with Guide Dogs.  Our target for the Portico Puppy was hit in 2018 and we now have our lovely Petra.

 

As we embarked on 2019 we asked our people for their ideas for our next charity partner.  The response was overwhelming.  The GivingBack team met early January to review the nominations.

 

The suggestions were amazing, but one charity stood out for the following reasons:

 

 – Truly life changing success stories
 – Dedicated to supporting our British Armed Forces and military heroes
 – It shines a light on mental illness and helps to raise awareness
 – Offers us a fixed target to achieve with a tangible outcome

 

Our chosen Portico Charity is Veterans with Dogs.  Founded in 2013 by Craig MacLellan whose story is life-transforming and full of sadness, bravery, determination and triumph.  Following Craig’s own struggle with PTSD, Craig created VWD for the veterans of the British Armed Forces, who like him, were suffering with PTSD and mental illness.  A growing number of veterans are suffering the after effects of frontline service and this charity supports all ex-service personnel who are unable to leave their house, take care of their families, hold down a job or in extreme cases are suicidal.  VMD is 100% funded by donations.  This is a charity that is not only transforming lives but saving lives.

 

It is commonly recognised and accepted, a Veteran suffering from a condition like PTSD often becomes extremely isolated – and their life can be dominated by conditions such as anxiety and depression. Introducing a specially trained assistance dog into the life of a Veteran who is suffering from PTSD has been proven to have hugely beneficial outcomes.

 

VWD created the PALS (Partner Animal Life Skills) Programme to train assistance dogs for mental health.  This approach is having a profound effect on helping Veterans to increase their quality of life and regain independence.  The dogs are trained for certain tasks such as initiating daily routine, from waking to medication reminders and other activities personal to the Veteran. They are trained to respond to anxieties displayed by the Veteran in everyday life, and potentially challenging environments (including hyper-vigilance). They recognise, indicate and interrupt signs of anxiety, panic attacks and nightmares. These behaviours allow the Veteran to break the cycles and regain emotional control by employing cognitive behavioural skills, engaging risk reduction behaviours and so reduce the debilitation of symptomology associated with PTSD.

 

It is commonly recognised and accepted, a Veteran suffering from a condition like PTSD often becomes extremely isolated – and their life can be dominated by conditions such as anxiety and depression. Introducing a specially trained assistance dog into the life of a Veteran who is suffering from PTSD has been proven to have hugely beneficial outcomes.

 

VWD created the PALS (Partner Animal Life Skills) Programme to train assistance dogs for mental health.  This approach is having a profound effect on helping Veterans to increase their quality of life and regain independence.  The dogs are trained for certain tasks such as initiating daily routine, from waking to medication reminders and other activities personal to the Veteran. They are trained to respond to anxieties displayed by the Veteran in everyday life, and potentially challenging environments (including hyper-vigilance). They recognise, indicate and interrupt signs of anxiety, panic attacks and nightmares. These behaviours allow the Veteran to break the cycles and regain emotional control by employing cognitive behavioural skills, engaging risk reduction behaviours and so reduce the debilitation of symptomology associated with PTSD.

 

In the next 24 months, we have challenged our people to raise £30,000 which will allow us to fully fund a PALS Programme!

Posted on 1 February, 2019

Category: Charity, Company, Mental Health Awareness