Specsavers in Hartlepool are top dogs for fundraising

A Hartlepool opticians made guide dogs the focus of a fundraising drive which raised £1,800 in just two days.

Tuesday, 28th June 2016, 10:04 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th June 2016, 11:08 am
Val Cook (Guide Dogs for the Blind) presents a framed guide dog photograph to Sharon Courtney (Specsavers) with (standing left to right) Kirby Raper (Specsavers), Philippa Gretton, Julie Gafney and her guide dog Valerie and Faisal Mahmood (Specsavers) along with (front left to right) Katherine Brown (Specsavers), Sue Lendrem with guide dog Bliss and Carrie Dawes (Specsavers). Photograph by FRANK REID
Val Cook (Guide Dogs for the Blind) presents a framed guide dog photograph to Sharon Courtney (Specsavers) with (standing left to right) Kirby Raper (Specsavers), Philippa Gretton, Julie Gafney and her guide dog Valerie and Faisal Mahmood (Specsavers) along with (front left to right) Katherine Brown (Specsavers), Sue Lendrem with guide dog Bliss and Carrie Dawes (Specsavers). Photograph by FRANK REID

Specsavers in Middleton Grange shopping centre held a charity stall for the Teesside branch of Guide Dogs for the Blind and were amazed at its success.

Shoppers lined up to take part in the tombola, buy from a cake stall and try to guess the name of the giant teddy.

Specsavers staff were presented with a framed certificate from the charity and a couple of four-legged friends.

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Staff have pledged to raise even more so that the store can chose a name of a guide dog puppy.

Sharon Courtney, dispensing manager at Specsavers Hartlepool, said: “We have a couple of customers who have a guide dog and one of our younger customers helps to train them.

“Also, working in an opticians we felt it was relevant to try to support the guide dogs.

“We didn’t realise we were going to raise that much. We are really pleased.

“Last year we raised £700 so we more than doubled it this year.”

Ian Walker, store director at Specsavers, said they intend to continue fundraising to reach £2,500 needed to name their own guide dog puppy.

Val Cook, treasurer of the Teesside branch of Guide Dogs for the Blind, said: “It is an amazing achievement in just two days.

“I can’t think of enough words to say thank you to them.

“I would also like to thank the people of Hartlepool who put their hands in their pockets and money in our buckets. They really dug deep.

“Everybody was really generous over the two days.”
Val also thanked Middleton Grange shopping centre for hosting the fundraising event.

Fundraising such as that of Specsavers is vital to the guide dogs charity as it relies on donations to pay for everything from training and breeding to microchipping and vets’ fees.

The charity says there are currently 180,000 blind or partially sighted people in the UK who rarely leave home alone.

Almost two million people in the UK are living with sight loss but there could be nearly four million by 2050.

Supporters can sponsor a puppy from just £1 a week. Got to http://www.guidedogs.org.uk