A VULNERABLE resident from Bracknell will take part in Crufts this week.

Graham, who cannot be fully named, will appear at the world’s largest dog show after working with the council on a partnership programme with the charity ‘Dogs For Good’.

Bracknell Forest Council is piloting this scheme, which sees vulnerable people in the borough working with a community dog, a dog handler, an occupational therapist or a social worker for eight sessions where they were supported with carrying out day-to-day tasks.

This led to significant improvements in participants health and mobility due to their increased activity levels.

Graham suffers from autism, learning difficulties, and mental health difficulties, which all culminate in high levels of anxiety.

After his work with his community dog, his anxiety has reduced dramatically, and he has been confident enough to use public transport and attend medical appointments, and will now showcase this new confidence at Crufts.

Graham will appear at Crufts with his mother, Rosemary, and sister, Jessica, in the demonstration arena at the dog show, on Friday March 9.

Cllr Dale Birch, executive member for adult services, health and housing, said: “The transformation of our adult social care services is all about making our services much more people focused and improving independence for the borough’s vulnerable residents, which is exactly what this project has achieved.

"It is a fantastic example of the innovative techniques we are using to provide our services in a different way and provide the right support to those who need it.

“By working with Dogs for Good, we have been able to transform the lives of people with learning disabilities or autism, enabling them to independently carry out tasks they were unable to do before, such as crossing a road by themselves, using public transport or socialising in group environments.

"It is fascinating to hear how the specialist team have enabled some of our most vulnerable people to learn new or adapted behaviours with a little help from man’s best friend. I am looking forward to seeing the project progress to allow us to support more people to get the best out of life.”

The council is now working towards a permanent charity partnership, so more residents can take part.