Published November 18th, 2015 | News0
Wirral guide dog owner finalist for prestigious award
Wallasey guide dog owner Lynette Proctor is delighted to be a finalist in this year’s Guide Dog of the Year Awards, to be held at the Hilton Hotel, London on 9th December.
“…it feels like recognition that I have reached a place in life that I should be proud of.”
Lynette, 27 was nominated by a friend who has seen first-hand the life-changing impact that Lynette’s guide dog, Pippa has had on Lynette’s life and nominated the partnership under the ‘Life Changing’ category.
At the age of just 21, Lynette’s sight loss left her completely isolated and unable to go out on her own. She had depression and panic attacks, and was forced to rely on her parents to take her to hospital appointments and counselling sessions. Growing up in Wallasey, Lynette achieved top GCSE results and secured a university place, despite enduring years of bullying by other pupils at school, and teachers constantly telling her what she couldn’t do.
But just one year into her course, a tough series of scans and hospital treatments forced Lynette to admit that her deteriorating sight, caused by the eye conditions nystagmus and ocular albinism, had finally beaten her. She dropped out of university, gave up her part-time job and student accommodation, and lost the friendships she had made. Her confidence and independence were destroyed.
At a counselling session, someone suggested Lynette apply for a guide dog – a suggestion that changed her life forever and has led to her doing some crazy charity fundraising feats. In 2013, Lynette was partnered with her first guide dog, Labrador/retriever cross, Pippa, and hasn’t looked back since.
Pippa has given Lynette the freedom and independence to do things she never thought possible – including planning for the future. The 27-year-old went back to college, enabling her to gain employment as an Engagement Officer at Guide Dogs Liverpool, helping to raise awareness of the charity Guide Dogs and helping other people with sight loss.
In being nominated for the award, Lynette said: “I feel very honoured to have been shortlisted, it feels like recognition that I have reached a place in life that I should be proud of. I’m not a competitive person, so to me it already feels like I have won. I have won by being nominated and shortlisted, I have won by having an amazing partner in crime with Pippa, I have won by getting to a point in my life where I am happy. Winning the award though would be recognition to everyone who has helped us get here, as we would never have done it alone.”
To find out more about the life-changing work of Guide Dogs in the Merseyside area, please visit www.guidedogs.org.uk.
Give where you live
Over the coming weeks, Waiting Magazine is launching a new campaign – Give Where You Live – to give it’s readers a little more information about local charities, enabling them to feel more confident about where their money is going when donating locally; one such charity is Guide Dogs, which unbeknown to many local people, is ‘Wirral born’, started by two local women from a back street garage in New Brighton in the 1930s. You can read more about the history of the charity here, who will be celebrating their 85th anniversary next year!
Meanwhile, please look out for our new Give Where You Live stands around the borough, and related news and information in future issues of the magazine and on our website; and if you would like to donate £5 to Guide Dogs Wirral, please text WDOG85 and then £5 to 70070. To donate online please click here. Please note that all funds raised in this way will go specifically to help the Wirral branch of the charity. (Registered Charity No. 209617 and in Scotland SC038979. Texts cost £5 plus standard rate message charge.) For more information about Guide Dogs Wirral please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/guidedogswirral. Thank you.