Foundation serves up new kitchen for Island charity

Posted on: August 24, 2023 at 2:08 pm Ability dog and trainer in new dog kitchen area

Ability Dogs 4 Young People, the charity that has been training assistance dogs for people with disabilities on the Island since 2012, has unveiled important new features at its Lake HQ.

Thanks to an £8,500 grant from the Isle of Wight Foundation, the charitable body made up of the partners behind Island Roads, Ability Dogs 4 Young People now has a brand new “dog” kitchen.

The new designated area will be used both to prepare food for ability dogs and to enable training around food preparation.

And to ensure there are no hot-dogs on the premises, the foundation grant has also enabled the purchase of blinds to help regulate the temperature of the charity’s training centre.

The funding boost from the IW Foundation has come at a critical time for Ability Dogs 4 Young People which is currently appealing for financial donations and for more volunteer support.

Every year, the lives of over 200 children and young people living with disabilities on the Island are improved by ability dogs, each one trained to meet the needs of their companion.

But the rising cost of living is also being felt by the charity with the cost of dog food doubling and energy and veterinary bills also rising significantly.

Carol Court, the charity’s founder, and voluntary CEO said: “We are really grateful for the funding we’ve received from Island Roads through their charitable foundation.

“It’s enabled us to create a great additional space and having a separate area solely for preparing food for the dogs is much safer and more hygienic.  It also gives us an area where we can train our service users to be able to prepare their ability dog’s food.

“It is a vital addition that enables us to improve our services – but, given the general funding pressures we are under, it simply would not have been possible were it not for the grant aid from the foundation.”

Rob Gillespie, chairman of the IW Foundation, made up of Island Roads Services, Ringway Island Roads. Meridiam and Vinci Concessions, said: “We are pleased to, once again, help Ability Dogs 4 Young People especially so at a time when financial support is particularly important to them.

“We have worked with the charity over several years now and we know what a fantastic job they do in making such a positive difference to the lives of so many young people on the Island.”

To find out more about Ability Dogs 4 Young People, to make a donation or to get involved as a volunteer then please visit