An ordinary cuddly toy with an incredible story to tell

When Rigby soft puppy doll came through my post box I instantly fell in love with him. Rigby may look like an ordinary cuddly toy, but underneath his cute exterior, there’s an incredible story to tell… That’s what makes him a special cuddly dog toy.  

Whilst many of us associate The Royal British Legion with Remembrance, the charity also carry out important work helping today’s Armed Forces families and Rigby the toy dog is inspired by one their beneficiaries – specifically the story between Jake and an Autism Assistance Dog called Rigby. 

Each cuddly toy comes with a label telling Jake and Rigby’s story

Simon Gill and his wife Jo both served in the Royal Military Police and have two sons, Ben and Jake, who is autistic.

The family discovered that dogs who are trained to provide safety and companionship, could help bring independence and a more socially inclusive life to children with autism.

They contacted the Legion who worked with other organisations to help pay for a trained puppy. The family now have Rigby – named after acharacter in one of Jake’s favourite cartoons.

Rigby and Jake, who inspired the product

Simon said: “Jake’s confidence has grown a lot since he first met Rigby.

Rigby has made such a huge difference to our lives and has had a massive impact on Jake – they have a very strong bond and
we look forward to sharing many more happy family times

To celebrate this heart-warming story, and help raise funds for The Royal British Legion, The Poppy Shop, the charity’s official store, is now giving everyone the chance to own their very own Rigby. All profits raised from the sale of the toys go directly to the Legion and their important work in providing care and support to families like the Gill’s.

Jake suffers with anxiety and struggles to cope in crowded improve his condition.

Jake adores Rigby and likes going out for walks with him, which is something he wouldn’t really do before as he didn’t like crowded places.It’s little things like going to watch his brother Ben play football – normally Jake wouldn’t do that but he’s keen to come along with Rigby now.

‘Rigby’ the toy dog is available to buy from The Poppy Shop,, for £14.99 Please note: recommended for children over 12 months. Length 30 cm. Hand wash only.

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