A NATIONWIDE dog assistance charity are calling for Hampshire artists to get creative to raise funds for their centre.

Canine Partners, the dog assistance charity are holding their second annual Textile Art Challenge, hoping to raise £5,000.

Amongst the helping hands is the 7th Shirley guides, based at Freemantle.

The charity are selling textile packs and are asking residents to get creative making costumes, canvas paintings or toys to be sold at an exhibition for the charity next year.

The guides, part of the nationwide girl-guiding initiative where ten-14 year-olds attend organised outdoor activities and charity projects, are led by Shirley resident Jessica Riley.

Jessica is deaf and suffers from myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E), the syndrome that causes persistent fatigue.

Canine Partners pair up those with disabilities with support dogs who learn how to dress, undress and help operate at a cash machine for their owners.

Jessica has been supported by her canine helper Theo for five years now.

Olive Rowell, an embroider who first launched the event last year, is challenging the group to be as creative as ever for the charity.

Olive said: “The joy of this challenge was it was totally inclusive and anyone could take part no matter what their ability. On one hand we had an exhibit from a special needs school as well as professional artists.

“This meant we sold items from £5 to £195 and there was something for everyone.”

Jane Grant, community engagement manager for the charity said: “We were grateful for everyone who got involved last year and we can’t wait to see the creations that people come up with this year.

“Canine Partners do not receive any government funding so the money raised will enable us to continue our live-saving work.”

The initial event last year raised £2,000 for the charity, but this year the target has been raised to £5,000.

The fabric packs are £10 and can be purchased by contacting Jane Grant on 01730 716119.

Submissions should be sent to the Canine Partners at their office on Mill Lane, Midhurst by February 28.