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Guide dog makes thank you visit to Lowestoft bingo hall

PUBLISHED: 14:52 09 March 2013 | UPDATED: 14:52 09 March 2013

William the guide dog visits Lowestoft Bingo club.
Simon Waters an Michele Green with William.

William the guide dog visits Lowestoft Bingo club. Simon Waters an Michele Green with William.

© Archant 2012

A guide dog visited a Lowestoft bingo hall – to meet the people whose generosity paid for his training.

Back in August 2011, The Journal reported on the fund-raising efforts of Simon Waters, who raised more than £6,000 for Guide Dogs for the Blind after walking 10 miles along the town’s seafront wearing a blindfold.

His efforts – along with the proceeds of charity draws and donations by players at the Beacon Bingo Club in Lowestoft where he works – led to enough monies being raised to pay for the first year of training for a guide dog, which was named William after a competition at the club in Battery Green Road.

On Saturday, there was a special treat for the fund-raisers as William made the journey to the club from his home in Essex along with representatives from the Guide Dogs for the Blind.

He was centre of the attention as he made his way around the hall with his puppy walker Michele Green.

Addressing the bingo players, and thanking them all for their fantastic support, Mr Waters said: “William was born last March and he has nearly finished his first year’s training with Michele.”

Mrs Green echoed his comments and thanked him and the bingo players for doing “an amazing job”.

She said that with William approaching his first birthday next Thursday, he would soon be ready to play his part in the next generation of guide dogs. She told the fund-raisers: “William is destined, at the moment, to become a stud dog, which means he will go on to father lots and lots of lovely puppies.

“He just have to have some medical tests now before this is confirmed, but he has been such a good boy in his training. As he is so outstanding, his breeding stock is just as important. So not only will your monies go to just one generation of guide dogs, hopefully it will be going to many generations to come.”

Speaking afterwards, Mr Waters, 42, of Myloden Road, Lowestoft, said: “It is lovely to see the end product. We raised £6,030 back in 2011 and another £230 today through a collection and raffle – it’s marvellous.

“The generosity of these guys (the bingo players) is amazing – I would not have been able to do it on my own. When it comes to collecting for charity these lot here are superb.”

■ To find out more about the work of the Guide Dogs charity, visit www.guidedogs.org.uk


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