A CHARITY that helps transform the lives of servicemen and women injured in combat is looking forward to a bright 2013 after a huge donation.
Allen Parton, the Gulf War veteran from Clanfield who founded Hounds For Heroes, is over the moon after receiving £45,000 from a Territorial Army regiment.
The money will be enough to support the lifetime costs of two assistance dogs that will help with the day-to-day needs of people who have been injured in the line of duty.
As previously reported, Mr Parton, who was left in a wheelchair after being badly hurt in the first Gulf War, has 12 dogs which are undergoing specialist training at the charity’s base near Petersfield.
Each dog has a military name and the first trained will be allocated to its owner in October.
One of the dogs is named Yomper – the nickname of Royal Marine Richard Hollington, who went to Purbrook Park School and lived in Petersfield.
Richard was killed in 2010 from wounds sustained in an explosion in Afghanistan and his family have been big supporters of the charity.
The latest donation came from 71st (City of London) Yeomanry Signal Regiment, based near London. The regiment organised a charity boxing match – The Dog Fight – as a contest between the army and the police at the Wellington Barracks in London. The police team were victorious on the night.
Mr Parton and his assistance dog EJ were guests of honour.
Mr Parton said: ‘The support given to Hounds for Heroes sends out a clear message to those injured and those members of the forces serving on the front line that folk do care.
‘That is a priceless message to be sending out.’
He added: ‘What has been amazing and humbling is the unprecedented level of support the charity now receives from front line troops both at home and overseas.’
Lieutenant Colonel Craig Sutherland, Commanding Officer of 71st (City of London) Yeomanry Signal Regiment, said: ‘I met Allen two years ago, and promised that when I took over my own regiment, I’d help. It is a wonderful story and a wonderful thing to be able to do.’
Mr Parton added: ‘My thanks go to the Colonel and his team. It is a job well done.’
Hounds for Heroes needs to raise £20,000 per dog, which covers all costs from the animal’s training to being with its owner for eight years so that any family or owner does not have to worry about training, food or vets’ bills.
There are more than 900,000 men and women from both the armed forces and the emergency services who are injured, disabled, traumatised and need support.