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A Leicester-based charity that trains dogs to help with their owners’ mental health and wellbeing is seeking public support for a fun new project.

The charity RECOVERY Assistance Dogs (RAD) hopes that its new crowdfunding appeal will raise more than £10,000 for a canine agility course that dogs and their owners can enjoy together.

Featuring hoops, tunnels, jumps and weaves, the outdoor gym would provide a space where dog owners could meet up for a chat, and where dogs could improve their agility while socialising with other pets.

Any dogs and owners would be able to use the facility free of charge, but the charity will also be using it to train its assistance dogs.

Liz Maitland of RAD said, “Dogs are brilliant at getting their owners out of the house and into a more positive mindset, so we want to give them something that will help improve their own wellbeing too.

“This new canine agility course would provide a place where dogs could interact with other dogs or just have fun with their owners – and it would be the only such facility in the country.

“I hope that anyone who loves dogs, or who recognises the role that dogs can play in improving our mental health, will be able to support our crowdfunding appeal. Any donation – large or small – will help us reach our target and will be very gratefully received.”

The charity is hoping to raise a total of £10,278 to fund the project. The first three backers to donate £150 will be rewarded with a five day-break in the charity’s seaside caravan while the first 30 people to pledge £10 will be sent a photo of a Recovery Assistance Dog puppy.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby is hosting the appeal via his crowdfunding initiative CrowdFund Leicester. Peter commented, “RAD is a local charity that does a huge amount of work to highlight the benefits of dog ownership on people’s mental health and overall wellbeing.

“Their proposal for a pet-friendly facility that both dogs and their owners will enjoy is one that I’m pleased to support – particularly as we have nothing else like this in Leicester.

“If RAD’s crowdfunding appeal is successful, and they raise the funds they need, I have pledged to provide them with the land they’ll need for their project.

“I wish them the very best of luck with their appeal, and I would encourage local businesses, organisations and individuals to have a look at the charity’s page on the CrownFund Leicester site and to support the appeal if they can.”

If you wish to donate, please go here or you can make a cash donation at the RAD charity shop on 10 St Andrews Road, LE2 8RD.

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