We are proud to have hosted Thornbury’s first community dog show recently on Saturday 4th May which attracted many local people with their furry friends. There was a fantastic atmosphere with the sun shining and event area set up in the St Mary Centre with straw bales and a giant Scooby-Doo themed photo frame created by Safari Rock Softplay.


Our team of volunteers running the event counted over 70 dog entries on the day, with 15 categories on offer from best dressed to best condition, puppies to veterans, and musical sits to waggiest tail. Every dog that entered received a purple JIGSAW Thornbury rosette, with the top dogs getting special 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rosettes, all sponsored by RH Agri.



The dog show was a fundraiser for our charity’s life-changing services, providing vital support, compassion and empowerment to children and young people with additional needs or disabilities, and their families. A total of £552.86 was raised, from entries and fundraising games including £200 donated by Hawkes House Cafe from the proceeds of their coffee van selling dog and human treats at the event.


We are pleased to announce that Baxter was the winning name of our giant dog, kindly donated by Peer Group at St Mary Centre, and he has now gone to a loving home!



Cllr James Murray, Mayor of Thornbury, arranged the support from Hawkes House and appeared as a guest judge for two of the community competitions, as well as presenting the Albus Award.   


“I was absolutely delighted to be invited to judge JIGSAW’s dog show. The entire day was brilliantly organised with a great number of entrants throughout the day. I had some wonderful support from the JIGSAW panel of judges who helped pick out the best dressed dog and judge the musical sits competition! JIGSAW Thornbury do some wonderful work in our community, assisting children with additional needs, it is always an honour to be with their volunteers who are so passionate in their work.” 

 Hattie Clayton, our Chief Executive Officer, organised the event and said: 

“We felt the event was a huge success and the community atmosphere was brilliant. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who supported our charity on the day and in the lead up to the event. I am especially proud of the 11 young people who helped throughout the day with judging competitions. Seeing them all so comfortable being themselves at JIGSAW and able to lead an event for their community was a perfect picture of what JIGSAW is all about.’’ 

The event began with small group young handler competitions exclusively for our young members up to the age of 25 years. These were hosted by our much-loved therapy dog, Albus, who helps to keep people calm and feel more comfortable joining in with activities at many of our services.

Kai was the proud winner of the Albus Award with his dog Sparkles and shared his excitement with his mum after the event. 

Mum, I’m super proud of myself. I challenged all my fears and Sparkles helped me. I never thought I could do it 

As with all the activities and events we offer, the dog show had an impact for Kai’s whole family. Kai’s mum commented: 

We feel a sense of belonging and connection with others and Kai feels that he fits in. With the background he has, this is hugely important and beneficial for his self esteem and self worth, which is already very low. As a parent to a very vulnerable child, being connected with JIGSAW gives me strength and support. Without it, we would feel much more isolated and JIGSAW is just wonderful for all of us. 

If you are interested in fundraising for us and have any good ideas for future fundraising events please contact the JIGSAW Thornbury team at community@jigsawthornbury.org.uk