Fareham-based charity, Service Dogs UK, shortlisted for national accolade in Soldiering on Awards 2022

A FAREHAM charity has been shortlisted for a national award which recognises those who support the armed forces community.

Service Dogs UK has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Soldiering On Awards 2022 in the Animal Partnership category.

The annual awards, which will see finalists attend the House of Lords on July 4, celebrates the extraordinary work done by those who have served our country and the diverse groups who work together in supporting the armed forces community.

The Animal Partnership category honours the companionship animals provide to the armed forces community and recognises the achievements of individuals or organisations who work with animals to empower military personnel.

Service dogs training session.

The two other finalists shortlisted in the category are Stable Lives in Wigan and Richard Mearns and Assistance Dog Ziggy in London.

Service Dogs UK operates in Hampshire, Sussex and Somerset training and providing assistance dogs from rescue to support members of the armed forces and emergency services with PTSD. They have so far helped aid the lives of more than 35 veterans.

The charity uses rescue dogs to undergo training to interrupt nightmares, intervene when a veteran is experiencing flashbacks or panic attacks or lead a veteran to safety.

They can also retrieve medication and recognise and interrupt depressive episodes.

Service dogs taking a pit stop.

A beneficiary from the charity said: ‘Having an assistance dog has been a game-changer for me. Bella has enabled me to start living my life again and doing things that I genuinely thought I’d not be able to do again due to my PTSD.’

Voting will open to the public from 7.30pm on Monday, July 4.