The IT team from Letchworth-based construction company Willmott Dixon welcomed a very special four-legged visitor at their offices at the Spirella Building.

Above: The IT management trainees with Rick Willmott and Willmott the dog

Willmott, who is a yellow Labrador/golden retriever, came to say hello after the team raised over £16.5k for Dogs for Good. The charity makes life-changing differences to adults and children with a range of physical disabilities, children with autism and people with dementia and learning disabilities, helping them lead more independent lives.

Their fundraising efforts have ensured that Willmott is ready to start his training at Dogs for Good; he’ll learn how to carry out tasks such as retrieving dropped items, opening doors, activating access buttons, pushing down wheelchair footplates and even helping to load and unload the washing machine!

It costs over £13,000 to nurture and then train a dog to a point where they are ready to be matched with a client and Willmott Dixon’s fundraising will continue beyond the £16.5k already raised.

Huseyin Izzet, a Willmott Dixon IT management trainee, said:

“It’s been fantastic to support Dogs for Good. Over the past two years we’ve done lots of things including the Three Peaks challenge and the Cotswold challenge (walking over 60 miles in two days), along with countless cake sales, dress down days and more.
“Seeing Willmott made all our hard work so worthwhile and put a lot of smiles on our faces! It really emphasised how these dogs can have such a positive impact on people’s lives.”

Rick Willmott, group chief executive of Willmott Dixon said:

“I am very proud of our IT team for supporting this important charity, lots of hard work and effort has gone into their fundraising and it has resulted in this impressive donation. You can’t underestimate the transformative effect these dogs can have on people’s lives and I am delighted we have been able to be part of that.”

Dogs for Good Corporate Manager, Cathryn Simpson said:

“Dogs for Good relies entirely on donations to carry out its life-changing work. Corporate support such as this £16.5k from the incredibly motivated team at Willmott Dixon really will help to change lives and build partnerships.”

Willmott Dixon believes it has a purpose beyond profit and aims to leave a lasting positive legacy in the communities where it works. Every year over 80% of its people take part in community activities and last year it was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the category of promoting opportunity for its social value work.