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Guide Dogs Take the Lead

Four-legged visitors have been putting staff through their paces at our Telford depot, on behalf of Guide Dogs for the Blind.

The four dogs and their handlers delivered training to 120 staff to raise awareness of the dangers of pavement parking. Their visit followed an invitation from Adrian Pope, WPD Team Manager for Shrewsbury.

 On the right path. WPD staff step out safely with the help of Guide Dogs for the Blind

Staff listened to a short talk about the work of the charity before being blindfolded and taking a walk with a guide dog. Their route led them along a series of footpaths obstructed by parked vehicles.

Andy Farrell, Community Engagement Officer for Guide Dogs for the Blind, said: “It was great to see the sessions so well attended, and everyone taking part in the walks.  The aim of these sessions is to raise awareness of the challenges a person who is blind or partially sighted faces, when they are forced to navigate into the middle of the road by parked vehicles. Parking on the pavement should never be the first or only option considered.”

The four trainee guide dogs – Bailey, Buster, Bobby and Rufus – were accompanied by world class dog trainers for the sessions which were risk-assessed in advance.

Adrian Pope said: “The training really brought home the difficulties faced by partially sighted people and other vulnerable groups as a result of pavement parking. It is something we all need to be aware of which is why I asked Guide Dogs for the Blind to come and run the sessions.”


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