Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Canine Partners' Bluebell Walk

Bluebell Walks are organised every Spring to raise money for Canine Partners and this year was another huge success thanks to a healthy dose of sunshine. It took place at the stunning woodland estate in Langford, Maldon and nearly 200 people turned up to walk the 2 miles with their dogs of all shapes and sizes.

As well as the walk, there was a BBQ, raffle, kids' quiz and demonstration given by the working dogs who were incredibly impressive... and cute.

Unloading the washing machine, removing items of clothing and picking up items off the floor are all day-to-day tasks that the dogs carry out to aid their disabled owners.

A couple of new recruits also made an appearance and caused quite a stir wearing their tiny velcro jackets with pride! At only 8 weeks old they begin training up with their designated 'puppy parents' to prepare them for a Canine Partners career. The charity is determined to make life better for those with physical difficulties, most of whom are wheelchair users. They 'tailor-make' each dog for each individual to ensure a perfect match. Canine Partners tend to use breeds such as Labradors, Golden Retrievers, and cross-breeds with Poodles: the 'Labradoodle' and the scruffy 'Golden-Doodle'.

It was a really lovely day, and the volunteers weren't put off by the merchandise gazebo collapse or the promo helium balloons flying off into the distance hours before anyone arrived...

We managed to raise over £1500 - a great improvement on last year's total.

If you're interested in getting involved with Canine Partners, or even organising your own Bluebell walk for next year then fill out the Community Fundraising contact form.

If you'd like to find out more about applying for a Canine Partnership, all the information can be found online. Plus we're always looking for volunteers to help throughout the year. Visit to see what's going on in your area.

(All photos Kathryn Beadle © May 2011)
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