DESPITE having a fear of dogs, one entrepreneurial 11-year-old has jumped to it to help save a popular town dog show.

When Commonweal pupil Kody Bowler found out that the Old Town Festival dog show was under threat, as the sponsor had to pull out, he felt he had to do something about it. With the help of his mum Janine they are baking and selling some canine-themed cakes in a bid to drum up support.

“Kody was very concerned and asked me if we could sell dog themed cakes to raise the £300 needed to fund the dog show’s presence at this much loved family festival. I've roped my mum in on the baking too - she's awesome. Kody couldn't go to sleep last night chatting about it,” said mum Janine Bowler.

Following a Facebook post he has already received £50 from a parent who owns Run Swindon, in Wood Street. Shortly after he was given another £50 from former Commonweal parent Alex Giles who runs Paw-Fit Pet Services to help towards their fundraising drive.

Janine added: “Then semi-professional golfer Ian Murray donated £20 after my friend who was moving my piano for me last Friday found his dog, Max, who ran off when he was walking him in Wroughton on Thursday night. We put him in the van and my friend took him to the vet to check his chip then got him back to his owner. He was so overwhelmed with the support he received on social media and when he heard about Kody's cause and wanted to help."

Kody, with help from two of his friends, Amber Cummings, age 11, and Molly-May Alexander, age 12 held the first cake sale this week during the school lunch break and have raised £72. There is another cake sale in school tomorrow (Thu), so Kody is very close to his target.

Janine said: “People are so kind, I'm a bit emotional. Kody has a dog phobia he is trying to overcome. I have no idea where it came from. He ran out in front of a car when he was a toddler, to avoid a dog walking along a path, but he didn't hesitate at being certain he could raise the money for SN Dogs. They've invited him on their next big dog walk and I said they can help him overcome his fear at the same time."

Jessie Bascombe, who runs SNDogs, said the charity was very grateful to Kody for his support in helping them raise the £300 needed to put the dog show on.

The Old Town Festival runs from Saturday, July 8 through until Sunday, July 16

Festival chairman Josie Williams said: “The festival is run by a group of dedicated volunteers and the dog show, part of the Family Fun Day on The Lawn, Old Town attracts over 20,000 people. The dog show is very popular and it was a bit of a blow when we heard the sponsor had to pull out. However, I was gob smacked when I heard Kody, a boy of 11 years old wanted to sponsor the show. That is so amazing.”