A charity that provides assistance and companion dogs for children with autism has received a €3,000 donation from the Amazon delivery station team in Rathcoole. Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland provides highly trained assistance dogs for children with autism in Dublin and across Ireland. The aim of the charity is to change the world for children with autism by providing them with an assistance dog. These special dogs can open up a whole new world of possibility for children with autism and their families. The highly skilled dogs, trained to keep their child companion safe. Attached via a belt to the child, the dogs listen and respond to the commands of the parent or handler. The dog’s primary focus is to prevent the child from running into danger when they are out. Over time, as the bond between the child and the dog develops, the dogs can help build confidence, develop responsibility, and promote independence for children with autism.
In addition to providing dogs for children and their families, the charity also runs workshops across Ireland to help raise awareness of autism in children. The charity plans to use the donation from Amazon to help increase the number of dogs trained by its team. There are currently 50 active assistance dogs in Ireland but demand for an autism assistance dog is growing.
Speaking on the donation, Sarah Jane Heffernan, Delivery Station Manager at Amazon in Rathcoole, said: “Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland has such a positive impact on the lives of children with autism and their families in Dublin and across Ireland, and we wanted to support the charity’s staff and volunteers with this donation.”
Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland was nominated for the donation by James Burke, an area manager at Amazon. He added “Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland provides vital support to children with autism in our community. Its dogs are specially trained to provide safety and companionship, reduce anxiety and suffering while promoting independence. This enables Irish children to be included in activities they otherwise may find overwhelming. I think it’s fantastic that Amazon is supporting such a brilliant charity with this donation.”
Eileen Aherne from Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland added “Like many charities, we can only provide our services thanks to donations like this from the Amazon team in Rathcoole. It costs €22,000 and takes up to two years to train an autism assistance dog. On behalf of everyone at Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland, I’d like to say a big thank you to Sarah Jane and the Amazon team for their support and helping the many families still in need of a life changing autism assistance dog.”
In addition to creating over 50 permanent jobs, the Amazon delivery station in Rathcoole has also created over 100 driver opportunities for Amazon Logistics’ delivery service partners and Amazon Flex delivery partners. Delivery stations power the last mile of Amazon’s order process and help speed up deliveries for customers.