Welcome to Newfound Friends

Established 1989. Newfound Friends; Registered Charity No. 1163201

Newfound Friends Charity

Newfound Friends was formed 26 years ago in 1989, with the objective of using the skills of the Newfoundland Dog to raise money for childrens' charities. The group has gone from strength to strength and we are now a registered charity. All our members are DAB checked and we have a safeguarding policy which can be viewed on request.

In the early days it was difficult to convince people that this would be a good way of raising money for charity but, with the support of close friends and a dedicated team of Newfoundland owners, we began to convince them that our aims and objectives could succeed. To date we have raised over a million pounds in various ways (see Our History) but now we have decided to focus the fundraising on supporting the work of the organisation itself, namely to helping save lives of the public by training Newfoundland dogs and people in lifesaving skills and also enhancing the lives of disabled adults and children through interaction with the dogs. All members of our group are DBS checked and we have a safeguarding policy which we take very seriously.

Weather permitting we hold training sessions as often as possible at a lake in the Cotswolds. We aim to expand this side of our work and we need funds to cover the cost of leasing the lake, providing and maintaining the equipment and insurance etcetera.



Pictured right is our youngest member Tol. We have always encouraged children to get involved working with the dogs as we believe it is good for their confidence and know that the dogs have a special affinity with our younger members.

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Throughout the website you will see pictures of dogs and children together showing how they form a very special relationship. Newfound Friends are very grateful to all the photographers for the many wonderful pictures supplied for this site. Thanks to Gordon Burns, Drew Gardner, Paul Gillis and Bob Holder.

N.B.: Newfound Friends holds the copyright to all photographs on this web site.

Download our new leaflet here.

Rookie Lifeguards

Newfoundland dogs have been the St. Bernards of the sea for hundreds of years and now they are helping to make lifesaving fun for the next generation of lifeguards.

Each week a group of magnificent 14 stone Newfoundlands, the canine members of the Newfound Friends Society, arrive at a lake in the Cotswolds to hone their lifesaving skills along with their human lifeguard companions. The dogs are so enthusiastic about the training that it certainly rubs off on the young trainees.

The Newfound Friends are an impressive sight when in the water and their water safety and rescue skills have gained them an influential supporter.

Olympic swimming medalist, Sharron Davies was so impressed with the dogs that she has become patron of the society. The former swimming champion explains that Newfoundlands are really happy when in the water. “They just love the water, first and foremost”, Sharron says, “they have a unique swimming action that enables them to glide along effortlessly, surging and pushing through the water using all four legs.”

But how do these hairy kings of the water with their thick fur coats manage to swim so well?

Their fur actually helps, it's oily which helps to make the dogs bouyant and they have two layers of coat which provides insulation to keep them warm in the water. But the Newfoundlands most exceptional swimming aid is the fact that they have flaps of skin between their toes on all four feet, effectively giving them webbed feet which make excellent paddles.

The Royal Life Saving Society has honoured the dogs for their lifesaving skills and promotion of water safety. The dogs of Newfound Friends are the only dogs ever to attain such awards of commendation from the society.

Every year, as soon as the weather turns warmer, young people drown while swimming in rivers, lakes and disused quarries. We aim to hold water safety awareness days to promote good practice, with the dogs acting as an extra attraction to the youngsters taking part.The benefits are huge, healthy outdoor exercise, confidence building, and social skills as well as potentially saving a life.


Gold Medal for Ellie and Chloe

Throughout the website you will see pictures of dogs and children together showing how they form a very special relationship. Newfound Friends are very grateful to all the photographers for the many wonderful pictures supplied for this site. Thanks to Gordon Burns, Drew Gardner, Paul Gillis and Bob Holder.

N.B.: Newfound Friends holds the copyright to all photographs on this web site.Congratulations to Ellie and Chloe for attaining gold medal life saving awards at a recent event run by the Royal Life Saving Society at Windsor. Newfound Friends has always encouraged children to take part in water rescue with the Newfoundland Dogs and it's great to see these two young ladies reach such a high standard. Well done girls!