QinetiQ’s employee-led corporate and social responsibility committee has helped raise funds for Integra Service Dogs Australia (ISDA) in order to match an assistance dog with an Australian Defence Force veteran.
After a number of fundraising activities around the country, enough money was made to contribute towards purchasing a reclassified dog from Guide Dogs Victoria, as well as the training required to help her become an assistance for a veteran in need.
ISDA chief executive officer Ben Johnson said that support from companies like QinetiQ allowed his company to be able to help veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to enrich their lives with a working dog.
“Our mission is to support people suffering from PTSD and other mental health-related illnesses, as a result of trauma during service and we do this by providing highly trained service dogs that provide security, assistance and friendship,” Johnson said.
“QinetiQ’s CSR committee, and the generosity of QinetiQ employees from around Australia, has helped to unite Navy Veteran Donna with highly trained assistance dog Ebony.”
Donna was discharged from the Royal Australian Navy following an accident in 2003, after 17 years of service. Her medical condition meant she was unable to continue working in the civil sector.
After contacting ISDA and being accepted into the program last year, Donna was introduced to Ebony, a black female Labrador who was trained as her assistance dog.
QinetiQ Australia managing director Greg Barsby said that it is rewarding to see his company’s work have a direct and meaningful impact on Donna’s life.
“ISDA is an organisation that assists veterans who are struggling to adjust after their years of service, maximising the benefit gained from a ‘best friend’ like Ebony,” Barsby said.
“As a defence business, QinetiQ actively supports veterans and we channel much of our CSR committee fundraising efforts to charities and non-profits that support veterans. It’s great to hear the real and tangible results coming out of our company’s enormous fundraising efforts.”