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Cork Independent


Cork charity secures major sponsorship

Thursday, 28th July, 2011 8:00am

Ireland's newest autism charity, the Cork-based Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland (AADI) has announced Novartis Animal Health UK Ltd as its newest sponsor. Novartis will sponsor AADI's puppy and dog training jackets for the next year. Novartis is the UK affiliate of Swiss-based Novartis AG and one of the largest and most widely respected pharmaceutical companies in the world. AADI is extremely proud to have been chosen by Novartis for this sponsorship. Director of Fundraising, Breeda Clancy, says: “It's a great show of support to have a large multinational such as Novartis Animal Health, not just to recognize the work of AADI but to endorse the charity's efforts. Novartis are leaders in their field of expertise and, one day, AADI would also like to be considered leaders in the field of assistance dog training.” AADI was established in Mallow, Cork in April 2010 and has so far made a huge difference to the lives of many families of children with autism. “We train dogs, mainly Labradors or Golden retrievers, as assistance dogs to help the children on the autism spectrum break down the barriers preventing them from interacting with society”, says AADI training service manager Nuala Geraghty. “There is really nothing like seeing the calming effect the dog can have on their child's behaviour.” To date, three assistance dogs and three companion dogs have been placed, with a further three dogs in training and due to be placed with their new deserving families in two month's time. AADI has so far made a huge difference to the lives of many autistic children. In just over a year, AADI has received a lot of celebrity support from the likes of singers Imelda May and Shayne Ward, RTE personality and proud Corkman, John Creedon as well as presidential hopeful and Dragon's Den star Sean Gallagher. Ms Clancy adds: “We've been very lucky that the momentum behind AADI has been growing steadily since we launched last year. This sponsorship from Novartis Animal Health is another step forward for AADI, it is a welcome boost for a charity that does not receive any Government funding and relies solely on flag days, sponsored events.”


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