Sweet treats help SGN employees fund guide dog puppy’s training
14 March 2017
Irvine’s fellow trainee guide dog Clodagh with SGN's Heather Blackburn
Clodagh captivates employees at SGN’s Kent depot (pictured L-R are: Emily Hearne, Heather Blackburn, Denise Grant and Kate Atherall)
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.’