The assistance dogs helping their owners through the lows of lockdown

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Heather Edwards

The lengthy lockdowns over the last 16 months have been difficult for us all, but for those living with a physical disability it has been particularly hard.

Simon Cook has travelled the world as a paralympian, but when the pandemic hit last year Simon found himself on his own during the first lockdown.

He found the isolation unbearable.

Simon out on a walk with assistance dog Axl

Things were very different for Simon though when the second lockdown started in November.

This time he had a four legged companion to keep him company at his home in Bicester, assistance dog Axl.

A recent survey found many people with a disability feel their mental health has been affected because of covid, with some also feeling like their disability has got worse since the pandemic began.

Simon's assistance dog was trained by the charity Dogs for Good, which is based near Banbury.

Duncan Edwards from the charity says for many the dogs really have been a lifeline.

Duncan Edwards, Dogs for Good