Close to 2,000 people enjoy guide dog training school open day in Woodford Green

PUBLISHED: 09:00 19 June 2013

TOWIE stars Debbie Douglas and Lydia Bright at the show with Dave Kent and Star Wars storm troopers

TOWIE stars Debbie Douglas and Lydia Bright at the show with Dave Kent and Star Wars storm troopers


Everyday sounds became “alien” for visitors when they got the chance to experience what it is like to rely on the help of a guide dog at a special open day in Woodford Green.

Juan Ginzarain handling a guide dog at the showJuan Ginzarain handling a guide dog at the show

A record number of people attended the Guide Dogs Training School fun day, in Manor Road, on Saturday, where they got to meet the dogs in training, take part in a number of themed games and meet some famous faces.

Guide Dog Training school manager, Barry Cahill, said: “The event went very well and we had just under 2,000 people walk through the door to meet our pups and guide dogs.

“We were inundated with people wanting to take part in our blindfolded obstacle course. Those who took part soon realised how difficult it was and that everyday sounds became alien without the use of their sight.”

Stars of ITV2’s The Only Way is Essex, Lydia Bright and her mother, Debbie Douglas, played their part in the day by judging a tongue-in-cheek Crufts-style talent show and signed autographs for fans.

Debbie said: “Guide Dogs is a truly amazing charity and the work it does is something I’m proud to support and see at these events. I love the dogs and my daughter Lydia and I have loved seeing them all and how they’re trained.”

There was also a number of stalls to tempt visitors and to help raise vital funds for the school.

Mr Cahill said: “Many people aren’t aware of what we do and how much work goes into training both the guide dogs and handlers. Events like this give them a chance to see for themselves.”

Rob Harris, guide dog engagement manager added: “Despite the weather, the day was a huge success. Thanks to the community for supporting the event and West Hatch High School’s steel band for the music. We’re counting up the money raised as we speak.”

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