Pawsome! Walkies in the park is back again

April 26, 2017

The Guide Dogs charity walk at Godmersham Park is to return next month.

Paws Around The Park will be held on Sunday, May 21, in aid of Guide Dogs, Ashford.

The walk is around the grounds of the country house set in the Kent North Downs, which has 19th century associations to novelist Jane Austen.

Dog Owners can take their pet on the guided sponsored walk and enter it in a fun dog show.

Refreshments will be available alongside a selection of country themed stalls.

Walkers raising £35 or more will receive a free Guide Dogs bandana.

Event organiser Stephen Fryer said, "When we ran this event in 2016, under its previous name of Dogs Unite, we were bowled over by the numbers turning up and by the enthusiastic way they joined in the walk to support us.

"With the addition of a fun dog show, we hope to attract even more people to this lovely venue."

The dog show starts at 10am and the sponsored walk at 11:45am.

Dog owners interested in taking part should visit and go to "Paws Around the Park" or phone Nicola on 0345 143 0214.

Sweet treats help SGN employees fund guide dog puppy’s training

March 14, 2017

Employees at SGN’s depot in Ashford, Kent, now have the perfect excuse for indulging their sweet tooth, after sales of sweets and drinks in reception raised enough money to help sponsor a guide dog puppy through his training.

Administrator Heather Blackburn and her team began buying sweets, snacks and drinks to sell at reception, so they could donate any profits from their sales to charity.

Heather explained: “We initially started buying snacks to provide a service to staff, but then realised that it was also an effective way of giving to charity. Over the years we’ve given the proceeds to several local hospices and last year we did a food collection for the Salvation Army.

“I came up with the idea of sponsoring a guide dog puppy because of my late father. He went blind at quite an early age and was always hopeful of having a guide dog, but unfortunately it was not possible. Another person in the UK goes blind every hour, so more guide dogs are urgently needed and it’s very rewarding to be able to do our bit, however small.

“Our puppy is called Irvine. He is only a matter of weeks old and is described by the charity as a ‘confident and adventurous pup’ who likes nothing more than playing in the garden with his sister Immie. Our donation will help to sponsor him through his first two years of training and during this time, the charity will send us regular ‘Pupdates’ about his progress on his journey to become a fully-fledged guide dog.”

Speaking on his visit to SGN’s Kent depot, Stephen Fryer, Branch Organiser for Guide Dogs for the Blind in Ashford said: ‘When someone loses their sight, Guide Dogs is on hand to make sure they don’t lose their freedom as well. By sponsoring Irvine, SGN are helping to train life-changing guide dogs and provide independence.  Irvine will go on to do some amazing things.’

Firefighters help guide dogs prepare for a life in service

August 30, 2016

Ashford fire station welcomed visitors of a different kind this week, as charity The Guide Dogs brought in ten of their pups in training for some unique experiences.

Puppy walkers and guide dog trainers from Ashford and surrounding areas took their pups, including some experienced and some at the very early stages of training, to the Henwood site on Tuesday 29th  August to experience the sights and sounds they will come across when they become working guide dogs.

Puppy training supervisor for The Guide Dogs in south Kent and East Sussex, Jay Taylor said: “We’re so grateful to the crews in Ashford and to Kent Fire and Rescue Service. It’s such a great opportunity to help prepare our puppies for the real world. Good socialisation is crucial for each dog to succeed in training and for when they’re placed with their new visual impaired owners.”

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© 2017 by Guide Dogs Ashford

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