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Guide dog TV star visits Bexleyheath shopping centre ahead of charity event

PUBLISHED: 13:11 10 October 2016 | UPDATED: 13:11 10 October 2016

Guide dog Stanley at Bexleyheath Broadway

Guide dog Stanley at Bexleyheath Broadway

www.matthewwalkerphotography.com

The Guide Dogs charity event will feature information and gifts

A guide dog who featured on BBC show Oxford Street Revealed visited Bexleyheath’s Broadway Shopping centre this month to raise awareness of the animals ahead of a charity event later this month.

Labrador/Golden Retriever cross Stanley has been the guide dog of 74-year-old Val Upchurch of Bexleyheath for the past 15 months, and he will be taking part in the Guide Dogs showcase on October 20-22.

The event will feature puppy walkers and puppies, information about puppy walking and dog training, and items from the charity’s pre-Christmas range, including cards, calendars, pencils and cuddly toy puppies.

Mrs Upchurch, who has had severely limited vision since she was a young child, said: “He’s a good dog who is still learning about being a fully-fledged guide.

“It’s been a real blessing for me. When you speak to people like myself who have had these fantastic dogs they all talk about the confidence it’s given them, and that’s certainly true in my case.

“My eyes have been very bad since I was little and they’ve gradually deteriorated over the years to the point where I became registered blind over 20 years ago. But that didn’t stop me going out to work and having a family.

“I started out as a cashier for the Co-op in Woolwich when I was 15 and had various other jobs, paid and voluntary, until I retired. I also brought up three sons and a daughter.

“Over the years I’ve had eight guide dogs and although they’ve all been different, every one of them has been really good and helped me to get out and about.”

For more information about Guide Dogs go to www.guidedogs.org.uk

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