After being supported by Dogs Helping Kids to overcome a traumatic childhood incident, Liam now campaigns with them for cruelty-free training methods.
Liam was 12 when he was referred to Dogs Helping Kids to help him battle PTSD and depression. He had been self-harming since the incident when he was seven and attempted suicide twice in his early teens. He was so nervous in public situations he struggled to go out, or to attend school.
DHK founder Tracey Berridge offered to help Liam train the Landymore family dog Charlie, who was just out of puppyhood, to become his personal school support dog. With Charlie at his side, Liam’s confidence blossomed and he was able to cope with the symptoms of his PTSD and depression.
And working with Charlie also unlocked in Liam a deep compassion and understanding for dogs, and he developed a strong interest in dog training and behaviour. He started to become more involved with the charity and helped out at educational workshops for teachers and other children.
By 2014 he had started his own initiative for the charity called Liam's MOB - Men on Board, to inspire men to be kinder to their dogs and to use only positive force-free training methods.
He has persuaded leading dog trainers Nando Brown, Steve Mann, Chirag Patel and Jordan Shelley to support him and last year he spoke at The Bite Prevention Conference at Lincoln University.
DHK’s Tracey Berridge says: “Liam has been on an amazing journey. We are very proud of the person he has become today and all he has achieved for dogs and their welfare.”
Inspired 280,000 people to support her campaign to stop a supermarket selling eggs from caged hens.
When Lucy, 14, discovered that Tesco was selling eggs from caged hens, she started writing letters to stores. When that wasn’t successful, she was not put off, and started a Change.org petition, which has now been signed by 280,000 people.
Lucy, from Sheffield, said: “I thought that a petition may be able to create the impact needed to make a company like Tesco change their ways. I think that animal welfare and commercial treatment is a really important issue and I know that many others share this view.”
Lucy has five hens of her own, including two who used to live in commercial barns, and one that was rescued from a cage.
Battery cages have been banned by the EU since 2012, but Tesco sells eggs from hens kept in “enriched cages”, which still only allow a each hen floorspace equivalent to a sheet of A4 paper.
In July, Lucy’s campaign persuaded Tesco to change their policy, and they have announced they will stop selling eggs from caged hens by 2020.
She said: “The petition to Tesco is a first step to achieving higher welfare standards for all hens. I have been amazed at the amount of support the petition has had, and the amount of signatures it has gathered in the short time it has been online.”