With the help from the team and her fellow residents, Irene Smith, 70-year-old resident at Furzehatt Residential and Nursing Home in Furzehatt Road, has raised over £660 for local guide dogs by organising a string of fundraising festivities throughout the summer.
From cake stalls and raffles to even encouraging care assistant Liam Linch to take part in a head shave, Irene organised all the fundraising festivities herself for a cause that has always been so close to heart.
The self-confessed animal lover Irene said: “I’ve always been passionate about guide dogs; it’s a cause I’ve supported for many years – before I moved into Furzehatt, and something I wanted to continue with now I do live in a care home.”
Irene’s passion is also shared with her husband Bob and many of her friends. Her and Bob have rescued three retired guide dogs over the years, with Bob still looking after Zilla, a retired black Labrador, while a number of her closest friends are still involved in training and raising guide dogs.
She continued: “Guide dogs are very important to me, my husband Bob and for many of our friends as well. There is no particular reason for our passion apart for our love animals and the lifeline the dogs provide to so many.
“I am so happy I’ve managed to continue my support and couldn’t have done it without the lovely team and my fellow residents – everyone has been so wonderful.”
The Sanctuary Care home’s manager Kim Newitt added: “Irene is such an inspiration! Even with her personal struggles she still thinks of others and champions for the local guide dogs as they help so many. She rarely thinks of herself and this just shows that. Over the years she has raised a lot of money for a charity she is truly passion about and I’m proud she is continuing this, and my team are supporting her every step of the way.”
Guide Dogs Week, is an annual fundraiser and awareness event for The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association 2016 with the hope to raise £1 million, to help more people with sight loss to live more independent and confident lives.