Celebrating access and inclusion: Josiah and Vespa
In the lead up to International Guide Dog Day on Wednesday 24 April, we're celebrating how our amazing dogs can change the lives of people living with disability.
We're pleased to launch this series of client stories with a newly matched team who will graduate at our Awards Presentation on International Guide Dog Day.
Josiah is a young boy living with autism and Down syndrome. With no real sense of danger, Josiah's family often felt anxious about his safety and missed out on important opportunities for community participation.
Josiah's mum, Cathy, said: "The thought of going out with Josiah was too overwhelming, so we usually had to split up because someone always had to stay home with Josiah."
For families like Josiah's, our Autism Assistance Dogs can unlock family wellbeing and positive social interaction - often for the first time. Since being matched with Autism Assistance Dog 'Vespa', Josiah, Mark and Cathy can enjoy the experiences we so often take for granted.
Josiah is much more confident and feels safe with Vespa. He adores his new best friend and can't stop giggling whenever Vespa is around. They now enjoy exploring the world together. This connection has been life-changing for their entire family.
We're delighted that Josiah and Vespa have each found their PAWfect match and will officially graduate at our celebration for International Guide Dog Day on Wednesday 24 April.
Follow the campaign on social media and share your own positive experiences of access and inclusion using the hashtags #AccessAllAreas and #CelebrateGuideDogs