THE BRACKNELL Forest Council's new community dog scheme has received a bronze award, as their loving community dog Lexi continues to support residents.

The award was won in the iESE Public Sector Transformation awards, held on on Thursday, March 7.

The service is designed to help residents cope in their own homes with low self-confidence, physical and learning disabilities, dementia, as well as increasing their independence and improving their wellbeing.

The scheme is the UK’s first council-run community dog service and works alongside the Dogs for Good charity.

Councillor Dale Birch, executive member for adult services, health and housing Deputy Council Leader, said: “The council is pleased to accept the iESE Public Sector Transformation award for our highly successful community dog scheme.

“The positive impact of the human-dog bond on our participants is outstanding and makes us proud to accept this prestigious award.

“Our aim is always to provide people with the ability to get the best out of life and live as independently as possible and we are delighted this service has been recognized.”

In January MP Phillip Lee met with community dog and golden retriever Lexi at the council offices, where they are based as part of the Community Dog Scheme.

Goals residents have reached by working with Lexi include new levels of independence, reducing their anxieties, building relationships, increasing activity levels and encouraging communication and engagement.

Peter Gorbing, chief executive of Dogs for Good, said: “It is an honour to be recognised for our part in improving the lives of people with health and social care needs.

"Dogs can be great motivators and role models, supporting adults and children to learn and develop in so many ways. We look forward to continuing this pioneering service with our local authority partnership.”

Bracknell Forest Council are working with other local authorities to help them develop a similar service.

For more information about the community dog scheme, visit: