Volumatic sponsorship helps employee’s daughter fund Assistance Dog Snoop
22 August 2022
Cash handling experts Volumatic have agreed to sponsor an Assistance Dog for the next 12 months to help the daughter of one of their employees gain more independence and overcome her fears.
Eve Cullen, daughter of Dave Cullen, who has worked for Volumatic for 21 years, is autistic and also suffers from OCD and anxiety. Diagnosed with autism when she was just eight years old, Eve has been closely supported by her family throughout her childhood, but as she has grown up, she has struggled more with her conditions, often feeling too anxious to leave her own home.
Despite additional support from social workers in recent years, and ongoing care from her family, Eve only leaves the home she shares with her mum, dad and younger brother to attend weekly education lessons and occasionally go shopping for art and craft supplies, so her family knew that something more was needed to assist her.
The answer came in the shape of a beautiful black Labrador named Snoop, an Autism Assistance Dog provided by the charitable organisation Autism Dogs. With the support of friends, family and colleagues at Volumatic, the Cullens were able to raise the money needed for Snoop to be able to join their family, back in 2020, and over the last two years, he has changed Eve’s life for the better.
How does Snoop support Eve?
Snoop is a highly skilled working dog that supports Eve in a number of ways, providing both comfort and companionship during moments when Eve becomes highly anxious. He is trained to sit on Eve, providing what is known as ‘pressure therapy’ and he can also alert her to dangers such as fire alarms, and can sense when she is starting to have an episode of anxiety and helps her to calm down within just a few minutes. It is hoped that the reassurance that Snoop provides will allow Eve to maintain a happier and healthier lifestyle in the coming years.
Eve’s dad Dave has nothing but praise for 3-year-old Snoop and how he has helped his daughter, saying: “Snoop has changed Eve’s life immensely. Meltdowns have gone from being regular to rare, and when they do happen, they are less severe, and she calms down a lot. She would not be able to leave the house without him – just by walking beside her he soothes her anxiety.”
He added: “It has given us a huge sense of relief to know Snoop is looking after Eve when we’re not there. He has the ability to protect her and react to situations such as fire alarms to help her and Eve is a lot safer with him in the house which gives us peace of mind.”
However, with Snoop’s annual upkeep for food, insurance, vet’s bills, his safety equipment and ongoing training hitting around the £1,000 mark, Eve needed some help to be able to afford to keep her special friend.
Dave and his wife Ally have been trying to help Eve, now 19, manage her own money in recent years and have encouraged her to contribute towards the cost of living and her hobbies in an effort to give her some more independence and support her desire to become more self-sufficient.
Understanding the costs of keeping her support dog, Eve decided to ask local businesses for sponsorship for Snoop, starting with Dave’s long-term employers, and to the family’s delight, the board of directors at Volumatic unanimously agreed to sponsor Snoop for the full amount she needed for the year ahead.
James Harris, MD at Volumatic said: “Here at Volumatic we’re always happy to support our employees wherever possible. When Dave spoke to me about potentially sponsoring Snoop I asked him to pull together the details for us to consider, and was delighted to receive a lovely letter from Eve herself, outlining the difference Snoop has made to her life. It was discussed with our board members and we were all delighted to be able to help with sponsoring Snoop this year, and we look forward to supporting other good causes in the future.”
Eve’s proud dad, Dave said: “Volumatic agreeing to sponsor Snoop is fantastic and we are so grateful to them. I was overwhelmed with the support my colleagues gave me back when we were first raising money to initially get Snoop and so to get this sponsorship now from my company is very humbling and we can’t thank them enough.”
As a thank-you to Volumatic for sponsoring Snoop, Eve, who is a talented artist, and wants to turn this talent into a future career, is working on a unique, hand-painted portrait of Snoop to be displayed at Volumatic’s head office in Coventry, where it will take pride of place.
To find out more about Autism Dogs, visit: https://www.autismdogs.co.uk/