Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Dog’s Life

Any regular visitor to Barkingside High Street will be familiar with blindfolded people being led by a dog up and down our shopping centre. These are Guide Dogs in training and come from the Guide Dog training centre just up the road in Woodford Bridge. Last year, at our May coffee morning, we had Mrs Ellen Barton and her guide dog Inca [pictured] come to tell us all about guide dogs. Fascinating it was. The dog is held on both a lead and a harness and if the person drops the harness it is a sign that they need some help. I didn’t know that, did you know that? Guide Dogs is also one those charities who do not get any state funding at all.

Anyway our local Branch at Findlay House in Manor Road, Woodford Bridge IG8 8ER are having an Open Day on Saturday 5th June 11am to 4pm. It’ll cost you £1 per person, [more if you’re feeling generous] but it will be worth it if you like patting friendly dogs
Dozens of guide dog puppies will add to the extravaganza. Kennel staff and dog trainers will explain about the life-changing independence that guide dogs provide to blind and partially sighted people.

Those accepting the ‘blindfold challenge’ will experience what it’s like to put complete trust in a guide dog, when you can’t see anything around you.

The open day is designed to be a fun and interesting day for the whole family, with entertainment including bouncy castle, treasure hunt ‘Braille trail’, fancy dress competition and Tombola.

The Sticky Paw Café’ will provide a gooey way to feel what you’re eating; remembering that if you’re blind, you can’t see what is on your plate!
Note: I picked this up from the Council Licence applications – there will be alcohol on sale.

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately, we will be 'oop north' that weekend, so we won't be able to go but wish them success.

    Some years ago, my wife worked for the CBI in the department that organised the CBI Conference and associated exhibition - at which Guide Dogs for the Blind often had a stand.

    My wife was on the 'phone to someone at Woodford one day who asked for suggestions on ways to attract people to their stand. "Why not bring some of the dogs along?" she said.

    I think every guide dog in the Bournemouth area - and their blind companions, of course - took a turn on the stand and it was, of course, a 'howling' success. (Sorry, couldn't resist that!)

    I don't think I've seen a Guide Dogs for the Blind stand at any event since then that hasn't had dogs in attendance ...