Southport golf day raises £1147 towards Asha’s autism assistance dog


Max Marshell(Normans son) with a cheque to donate towards Ashas’s autism assistance dog appeal.

The golf day was organised by PGA Professional Norman Marshell and took place on Friday 11 September at Southport Old Links Golf Club.

Norman Said:

“I would like to say a massive thank you to the golfers who played at Southport Old Links. Together we raised £1147.00 towards Ashas’s autism assistance dog appeal.

“Thank you to snooker player john parrot for the signed cue, Tommy Fleetwood for the signed golf gear and putting guru. Also Michael Kanski for the Odyssey putter along with a putting lesson and thank you to Clarkes golf for prizes and to all my friends who contributed”.


Funds raised from the event will help towards the costs of an Autism Assistance dog from Service Dogs Europe for my son Asha, who is 14 years old.

Asha has severe autism and a learning disability. He attends an Autism Initiatives school but despite an excellent specialist education and a dedicated home life he finds day to day life skills exceptionally difficult, sometimes impossible to manage.

Autism Service Dogs are a vitally important resource because they provide a unique approach to dealing with the countless obstacles that families like ours tackle on a daily basis. Each dog is fully certified, trained to the highest standard and receive highly skilled one on one training to help with the specific needs of the child or adult handler. As well as being a best friend and companion, Asha’s Service dog will be trained to perform tasks tailored specifically to his individual needs i.e;
~ Calming’interruption of anxiety related repetitive behaviours, over-stimulation or meltdowns. The assistance dog will be task trained to use touch intervention (e.g. paw tap on foot or leg’paws on lap) and pressure intervention (e.g. step on foot’lying across body) and mobility assistance when these potentially dangerous or self-injurious behaviours occur.
~ Asha is not able to sleep for more than a few hours at a time and gets up repeatedly throughout the night, usually ending up asleep on his bedroom floor. He wanders restlessly which presents various serious safety issues. The assistance dog can interrupt and divert night time wandering, alerting me if necessary. The dog sleeping in his room, or on his bed will be a huge comfort and a focus to stay put.
~ The assistance dog will be able to accompany Asha everywhere. Necessary medical appts that currently cause severe anxiety, often resulting in complete refusal to leave his room. To assist in visits to the shops, cafes and the local village, as well as days out with the family. These take a lot of planning and can be difficult for a variety of reasons, not least because Asha does tend to be easily distracted and tend to wander and can easily become disorientated. He has no danger awareness. The dog will also be trained to track and find by scent in the event of Asha ever becoming lost.

Although the service dog will work primarily with Asha, his older sister Chelsea also has autism. She has epilepsy, severe learning difficulties and hemiplegia. She uses a wheelchair for mobility and has very different needs to Asha. Chelsea is 22 and lives at home full time, cared for by myself, with loads of help and support from my eldest daughter Kim, her partner Rob and a small team of three very dedicated friends and carers, Shelly, Emma and Aaron who work with Chelsea at home. The service dog will be trained to walk with the wheelchair, accompanying Chelsea out on days when Asha is in school.

As any family of children with severe special needs or disabilities will be aware, it can be incredibly stressful and tiring striving to communicate, amuse, entertain, calm and care for them twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. There will definitely be a certain comfort in knowing that there is a resident helper on duty at all times, and the unconditional love, lack of judgement and inherent patience of these remarkable dogs will make a world of difference.

The cost of training the Service dog is understandably high and so we’re reaching out to friends, family and anybody else who would like to support our cause.
If you are able to help in any way, whether it be a donation or support and time in our fundraising efforts, any contribution however small will be hugely appreciated!!!!!

£6000 = €8446 *We realise donations are in euros, this is because the charity is based in Ireland, please don’t be put off by this it will still all be processed normally! As a guide;

£2 – €2.82

£5 – €7.04

£10 – €14.09

£15 – €21.13

£20 – €28.18

We have a page on Facebook;’AAADFundraiser

Please like, share and follow!!

Thank you for taking the time to read this, if you want any further info, please feel free to contact us 🙂
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Below are a selection of photographs taken on the day by Mark Thomas England


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