Mayor meets guide dogs at training centre

The Mayor of Wigan Coun Susan Loudon, right, at the Guide Dog Training Centre
The Mayor of Wigan Coun Susan Loudon, right, at the Guide Dog Training Centre

THE Mayor of Wigan has met one of her sponsored guide dog puppies for the first time.

First citizen of the borough Coun Susan Loudon has sponsored two guide dog puppies as her charity for the year is Guide Dogs for the Blind.

The Mayor visited the Guide Dogs for the Blind training centre in Atherton on Tuesday August 4 to present the charity with a cheque for £10,000 and to meet seven-month-old labradoodle Leigh, one of two dogs she is supporting.

The other puppy she has sponsored is named Warrior.

The charity is close to the Mayor’s heart as her sister, Mayoress Joan Mee, is partially sighted and has five-year-old guide dog Russell.

Charity volunteer Meg Stanton, who has been looking after Leigh since she was six weeks old, said: “Leigh is great with children and friendly with other dogs, she’s a great ambassador for Guide Dogs UK.

“I’ve been taking her shopping, on the bus every day, into restaurants and lots of obedience work for example stopping at kerbs. She’s a very well-mannered dog.”

The charity is encouraging more volunteers to come forward to help look after the dogs while they are in training, with puppies generally staying with one volunteer until they are just over a year old.

Meg said: “We always need volunteers to puppy walk. Taking on a pet dog is a very big commitment but volunteering can be a great way to spend some time with a dog.”

Following her visit to the Gibfield Park training centre, Coun Loudon said: “I’ve enjoyed being with the supporters, volunteers and with Leigh, it really is a brilliant cause.”

Emma Allen-Taylor from Guide Dogs for the Blind said: “We’re delighted the Mayor has chosen Guide Dogs as her charity of the year and look forward to working with her for the coming year.”

To find out more about Guide Dogs for the Blind or to volunteer visit www.guidedogs.org.uk