On Friday 22 March, New-Bridge Integrated College was delighted to welcome Mr Allen Parton as a guest speaker for our “Sixth Form LOL’s” (Lessons on Life) talks.
Allen gave an enlightening and moving talk about his life in the military and the tragic events which prompted him to start the Hounds for Heroes charity.
Allen described to senior students how a severe head injury left him without memory. He could not remember getting married or the births of his children, he was unable to walk, speak or write and spent five years in hospital struggling to come to terms with his disabilities.
Allen’s life changed when he was partnered with a yellow Labrador assistance dog, Endal, who helped him to regain his confidence and transformed his life. Allen described how Endal could solve problems and how he reacted in emergency situations. Allen’s amazing partnership with Endal lead to him forming a new charity to help the disabled of the Armed Forces and the Emergency Services and Hounds for Heroes was born.
Sadly, Endal died in 2009 but the partnership lives on and Allen is now accompanied by EJ (Endal Junior) who is one of the first dogs to be trained under the auspices of Hounds for Heroes.
Allen hopes that the work of Hounds for Heroes will enable more injured service men and women to be able to have the companionship of an assistance dog.
Head of Sixth Form, Mr Clarke commented, “At New-Bridge Integrated College we pride ourselves on the extra experiences and enrichment we can offer to our Sixth Form students. Real life stories delivered by extraordinary people will help our students grow to be fully rounded young adults and will only add an extra dimension to the excellent Sixth Form provision we offer. Our students and staff thoroughly enjoyed and benefitted from Allen’s talk and we are already looking forward to our next “Lessons on Life” speaker.