Waggers and walkers join forces for Heyshott good cause

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SUPPORTERS of the Heyshott-based charity Canine Partners wagged and walked their way to £5,000 at a charity event in the grounds of Petworth House.

More than 100 people, accompanied by some 80 dogs, took part in last Sunday’s sponsored Purple Wag and Walk for the charity, which provides highly trained assistance dogs to people with disabilities.

Organisers were lucky the weather stayed fine and those taking part could walk, run or jog through the grounds of Petworth House choosing a 5km or 10km route.

Music was provided during the morning by the band Headgasket and there was a barbecue available after the competitors had finished. The 5km race was won by Leigh Marriner from Petworth, with his dog Clemmie in a time of 24mins 55secs.

Winner of the 10km was Seamus Tyler from Emsworth, in 51mins 20secs.

Natalie Drew and Andrea Downing from FOTW Merchandise Co who took part in the event said: “Canine Partners is one of our clients and we are great supporters of the what they do, so much so that we raised funds to purchase a puppy called Gino this year.

“We are all dog mad and it goes without saying that we jump at the chance to take part in this type of event, as do our dogs. The work Canine Partners does is amazing, we all had a great day and are looking forward to taking part again next year.”

Norah Fisher, from Worthing was the only wheelchair user to take part with her canine partner Herbie.

“What an amazing day it was,” she said. “Having ambled, strolled, admired the beautiful scenery and laughed a lot when I got stuck once or twice, we finally made it to the finish line.

“After the event, we were left with such a feeling of euphoria, having spent a wonderful Sunday morning in the fresh air, raising money for a really worthwhile cause. We felt we could do it every Sunday and I’m sure Herbie would agree!”

Jill Green, head of regional fundraising for Canine Partners said she was delighted with the turnout. “I would like to thank everyone who came along to take part in our Purple Wag and Walk and hope they enjoyed the day. The fantastic amount of money raised will go directly to help train more dogs like Herbie for people with disabilities like Norah.”

If readers would like to support the work of Canine Partners through fundraising, collecting used stamps or tackling their own challenge they should call 08456 580480 or visit 
www.caninepartners.org.uk