Scottish charity project Bravehound wins national award

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​Scottish charity project Bravehound has won £5,000 for its work with veterans after a public vote

22nd August 2017 by Georgina Harris 0 Comments

A Scottish charity has won a National Lottery Award for its life-changing work with veterans.

Bravehound is a project launched in 2016 to provide training and dogs to support military veterans. The charity matches up dogs with veterans to help them return to life as a civilian.

The initiative is based in Bishopton and run by Glen Art, a charity helping former service people return to their communities. It won a public vote to win a £5,000 cash prize and a trophy, and will appear on a special BBC One show next month.

Scottish TV presenter and Invictus Games medallist JJ Chalmers visited the organisation to deliver the news. Chalmers, from Dunfermline, is also a former Royal Marine who sustained severe injuries to his arms and legs while in Afghanistan.

He said: “The Bravehound project is a brilliant idea which makes a vital difference in the lives of veterans in assisting them to adapt to civilian life.

“It can be difficult to adjust after leaving the armed forces especially for those who have experienced trauma in combat. But these companion dogs and the support from charity provide great comfort to those fortunate enough to receive them.”

Veteran Mick McConnell lost a leg while serving in Afghanistan and received a sprocker spaniel named Sasha from the charity earlier this year.

He said: “My sniffer dog Memphis was with me when I was injured in Afghanistan and when he was retired, I was able to be reunited with him. He helped me through some dark days as I recovered from my injuries.

“Sadly Memphis passed away earlier this year and I was devastated. But thanks to Bravehound, I was introduced to Sasha and we are inseparable. She is such a great help to me – she gets me out and about and makes me laugh all the time.”

Fiona Macdonald, Bravehound founder and director, added: “National Lottery funding was crucial in the establishment of Bravehound and has allowed us to help so many veterans.

“We believe dogs can help heal the invisible wounds that those who have seen military action carry with them.

“We are delighted to have won a National Lottery Award and to be recognised in this way by the public, not just in Scotland but throughout the UK. I’d like to thank everyone who voted for us and everyone who plays the National Lottery for enabling us to provide this vital service for our veterans.”

The National Lottery Awards search for the UK’s best charity projects every year with a public vote, which this year 4396 people voted in.

There will be a special BBC One show on Wednesday 27 September introducing this year’s seven award winners, including the Bravehound project and the impact it has on veterans.