Naidex National 2011

April 6, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Naidex National LogoYesterday I attended the opening day of the Naidex National exhibition held at the Birmingham NEC. I had a wonderful day and was delighted to see what Naidex- The ‘UK’s leading disability, homecare and rehabilitation event’ had to offer.

The show featured a wide variety of products and brands, many that I have seen featured at Naidex in previous years but also new exhibits, which were a great surprise.

New additions that I enjoyed seeing included the ‘Mouth & Foot Painting’ exhibit featuring art by Mouth and Foot artists from across Great Britain and The National Trust Access Guide stall with guides, maps and information. I was also surprised to see larger organisations such as Sky TV present who were offering help and support with their services, which elderly or disabled people may use. For example subtitles, audio decryption and easy grip remotes.

To my delight Canine Partners also attended again this year and I think it is safe to say that they will be one of the most popular exhibitors with all Naidex attendees.

canine partners naidex

Yesterday I attended a talks hosted by Canine Partners in the Inspirational Theatre. The talk explains why the specialist trained dogs are a great help to people with disabilities and ran through the skills which the dogs offer to their ‘partner’.

Their abilities are astonishing; we were introduced to Zebady a black Labrador who has worked with Canine Partners for a number of years. Zebady helps her elderly female partner with day to day activates making her life much easier.

Canine Partners demonstrated the sort of tasks Zebady and dogs who are trained to be assistance dogs carry out. The dogs are taught with simple commands and from there they help their partner accordingly. For example Zebady can help with shopping, collecting items from the shelf and placing into basket, she also picks up anything which her partner drops from loose change, credit cards, keys and walking sticks then places all directly into her partners hand.

I was amazed to see the Zebady open the washing machine, take out clothing and then close the door behind her. The dogs are taught that once they open a door (whether it is a cupboard or washing machine door) it must be closed behind then, for the safety of their partners.

Naidex Canine Partners speaker Andrew

Zebady was adorable and so helpful. When asked by command to take off her partner’s jacket, gloves and socks she did it with such ease and care to not hurt or distress her partner.

We were also introduced to wheelchair user Andrew and his assistance dog ‘Garf’, a 3 and half year old Golden Retriever. Andrew explained how much his life has changed with the help of a Garf saying that ‘the difference the dogs make is fantastic, brilliant!’.

The dogs offer great independence to their partners, but also become friends and a companion. Many different people achieve great independence from dogs like Zebady, from people who have always suffered from a debilitating disorder to those whose condition may have happened more suddenly, from a stroke or fall prehaps.

I loved everything about Canine Partners. The best thing was seeing how much Zebady enjoyed her work, wagging her tail constantly whilst helping her partner. You can even volunteer to take care of a dog for a weekend. They tempted the whole audience by welcoming Chutney, a 9 week old black Labrador- adorable!!

I’ll be posting more about my favourite things from Naidex all week. Enjoy!

canine partners puppy



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