Gloucestershire Echo

Charity help Fans take lead to support guide dogs

- Lewis CLARKE

FANS arriving at Cheltenham Town’s home game against Exeter City on Bank Holiday Monday were greeted by the wagging tails of guide dog puppies.

Staff, volunteers and dogs from the sight loss charity were situated by the club’s shop, giving fans the opportunit­y for some puppy cuddles before and after the game.

Charlotte Hawthorne, volunteeri­ng coordinato­r for Guide Dogs, said: “It was great to meet football fans outside Cheltenham Town’s Completely­suzuki Stadium on Monday.

“We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone at Cheltenham Town Football Club for giving us this opportunit­y, which helped us to raise awareness and funds for our charity.

“There are two million people living with sight loss in the UK and this number is set to double by 2050.

“Every day 250 people start to lose their sight in the UK. This is equivalent to one person every six minutes.

“Over the years, Guide Dogs has developed a wide range of services with and without dogs to support people living with a vision impairment. “Thank you to all the fans who stopped to meet us on Monday and for your kind donations, which will make a real difference.”

As a charity, Guide Dogs is almost entirely funded by donations, and is the world’s largest assistance dog organisati­on. Luke Saunders, commercial marketing manager at Cheltenham Town Football Club, said: “It was great to welcome the wonderful staff, volunteers and puppies from the Guide Dogs charity to help raise awareness and funding for such an important cause that doesn’t just affect people locally, but all over the country.

“It’s important for the football club to use its platform to promote charities and bucket collection­s at home games is just a small way in which we can give something back.”

To find out more about volunteeri­ng for Guide Dogs in Cheltenham, contact volunteeri­ng coordinato­r Charlotte Hawthorne via volunteerm­idlands@ or call 0800 781 1444.

Thank you to all the fans who stopped to meet us on Monday and for your kind donations, which will make a real difference

Charlotte Hawthorne

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 ?? ?? Cheltenham Guide Dogs at the football game
Cheltenham Guide Dogs at the football game

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