Hartlepool fun day gives Guide Dogs a boost

Members of the Hartlepool Hawks cheerleaders
Members of the Hartlepool Hawks cheerleaders

A DAY of bouncy castles, face painting and games pulled in dozens of people – and helped raised money for an important cause.

The Guide Dogs organisation benefited from five hours of activities at the Wacky Warehouse, in Hartlepool, and town Guide Dogs supporter Katrina Thompson was full of praise for the help received.

She said: “This is massive for us.

“As well as raising the cash needed to carry on funding the work and the dogs, we are also forging and strengthening bonds with the people around us.”

She said events such as yesterday’s fundraiser allowed people not just to see the dogs and owners, but to have a chat with the owners and a cuddle with the dogs.

“People can ask questions and learn about our work and just how smart our dogs are,” she added.

The day of fun included a display by the Hartlepool Hawks Cheerleaders, face painting, bouncy castle, games and activities, as well as a chance to meet members of the Fire Brigade.

The Hartlepool & Seaton Carew Branch of Guide Dogs had volunteers and dogs there. Officials held a tombola and raffle.

Katrina had praise for Joanne Keenan, team leader at the Wacky Warehouse, for organising the event and described her as a “friend and supporter of Guide Dogs”.

She added: “There is only so much our volunteers can do in our efforts as we all have our own lives, work, family.

“So for somebody to organise an event on our behalf is a massive bonus and we very much appreciate it.”

Katrina described how important the work of Guide Dogs was.

“Guide dog owners are very much a part of the community. But without their dogs they’d be very isolated from it and unable to leave the house without a sighted person to assist.

“Without vital funds, they wouldn’t have their dogs and, with an average cost of £50,000 from birth to retirement for each dog, there are very few people who could fund that kind of cost.”

Those wanting more information about the charity should visit its Facebook page by searching Guide Dogs Seaton Carew Hartlepool.