Green MLA backs local guide dog association fundraising event

There was certainly a very festive feel in the Great Hall in Stormont as North Down Green MLA Steven Agnew welcomed the Concentio Chamber Choir and the Steiner School Choir from Holywood who were performing a carol service in aid of the Guide Dogs Peninsula Fund Raising Team.

Mr Agnew sponsored the Christmas carol service to help raise funds for Guide Dogs in Northern Ireland.

“I am delighted to support such a great cause,” Mr Agnew said.

“I have been very impressed with not only the support and services provided by Guide Dogs to visually impaired people, but also their professional and consistent political advocacy.

“I have also worked with Guide Dogs over the last year on a number of issues including the introduction of visual and aural aids on public transport and also the awareness campaign around obstacles in the urban landscape which are potential trip hazards for the visually impaired.

“Last year the Green Party in Northern Ireland organised the Justice for Cody event at Stormont and money raised at this went to sponsor a guide dog to be named after the family pet that was cruelly set on fire and then subsequently died.

“This was an opportunity for Cody’s owners to turn what was a very negative and heart-breaking experience into something positive and full of hope.

“It takes on average around £50,000 to provide, train and support a puppy to become a fully-fledged Guide Dog but the value to its owner is incalculable.

“The slogan goes that a dog is for life and not just for Christmas and I would urge people to support Guide Dogs by sponsoring a puppy this festive season in the knowledge that you will help provide a blind or visually impaired person not only a canine companion but a working dog trained to the highest standards which will help them gain independence.

“Details of the Guide Dog Sponsor a Puppy Appeal can found on the organisation’s website and during this season of giving I hope many people will help provide, through a small donation, the precious gift of Guide Dog to those who would benefit most.”

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