Winterford PS bid to fundraise to keep companion dog gathers momentum


Special Needs Education Assistant Connie Bafile and student Georgie Reppas with Aidan Mulchrone and Special Needs Education Assistant Janette Griffith. And of course, Gus.
Picture: Matt Jelonek        www.communitypix.com.au   d465830
Special Needs Education Assistant Connie Bafile and student Georgie Reppas with Aidan Mulchrone and Special Needs Education Assistant Janette Griffith. And of course, Gus. Picture: Matt Jelonek        www.communitypix.com.au d465830

A SCHOOL community’s bid to raise enough money to fund weekly visits by a trained companion dog is 70 per cent complete.

A SCHOOL community’s bid to raise enough money to fund weekly visits by a trained companion dog is 70 per cent complete.

Companion dog Angus and his handler Kay Whiteley became instant favourites at Winterfold Primary School for their work with students each Friday.

The pair held a special place in the hearts of Aidan Mulchrone and Georgie Reppas, two students with communication difficulties.

Ms Whiteley told the Gazette previously Angus was a calming figure.

“Gus is trained to obey hand signals so when the boys attempt a ‘sit’ command or call his name he responds quickly and this gives the boys confidence their speech is effective, meaningful and understood, which means they are more willing to attempt talking again,” she said.

Aidan’s father, Martin, said the weekly visits had helped his youngster’s speech and confidence improve out of sight.

But with funding for the visits having run out, Mr Mulchrone has set up a fundraising page to make sure they continue for another year.

So far, $2600 of the $3600 needed has been raised.

“It is so important because it is one of the few things that seem to have really worked for our son,” he said.

Contact Winterfold PS on 9337 2936 or visit gofundme.com/therapy-dog-for-aidan-georgie to donate.

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