Support dogs paired up

Support Dog trainer Shirley Lumley and Tich the fundraising Irish Wolf Hound with Murdoch the Charity Mascot, John Newcombe and his dog Blue. Pic  Paul David Drabble
Support Dog trainer Shirley Lumley and Tich the fundraising Irish Wolf Hound with Murdoch the Charity Mascot, John Newcombe and his dog Blue. Pic Paul David Drabble
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It might be a dog’s life - but they’re not complaining.

A fresh batch of four-legged friends are offering support to people with disabilities after completing training with a Sheffield-based charity.

Support Dogs held a special event at Tankersley Manor to mark the graduation of its latest pack of pooches to be paired up with adults with physical disabilities and epilepsy and children with autism.

The ceremony might have featured shiny coats instead of caps and gowns, but it did not stop the charity paying special tribute to the work of the canine companions.

Danny Anderson, fundraising manager for Support Dogs, said: “It’s our way of celebrating all the dogs we’ve matched up with people this year.

“It’s great because we get lots of feedback from clients about the impact their dog has had on their life.”

Support dogs are sourced from the national Guide Dogs charity, local rescue homes and through donations. Once they have been recruited the animals must complete a six-month training course.

The annual graduation and awards ceremony, now in its eighth year, also marks the contribution of the army of volunteers who give up their free time for Support Dogs.

Organisers honour fundraisers and carers in a host of categories.

This year’s Volunteer of the Year award went to Rotherham couple Liz and Sid Moyes, who foster the dogs regularly and looked after a particularly sick pooch this year.