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New Wash Up and Brush Up Facility for RNC’s Guide Dogs

The Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) has celebrated the grand opening of its refurbished dog wash facility.


The project was spearheaded by student friends Izzy Theophanous and Sonal Sumaria as part of their individual Extended Project Qualifications (EPQ).


Driven by the desire for a more user-friendly space to bathe her guide dog (Judy), Izzy meticulously planned the refurbishment and liaised with RNC’s Estates team in Hereford to decide on what was needed for the refurbishment.


To raise funds for the project Sonal, along with staff members Lisa, Flea, Nina, and Jennifer, bravely volunteered for haircuts in exchange for donations (the hair was donated to the Little Princess Trust).


Their efforts raised £1,300 and a grant of £2,500 from Pets at Home’s charity, the Pets Foundation, ensured the completion of the project.


Named ‘Judy's Groom Room’ – a tribute to Izzy's loyal companion - the official ribbon-cutting ceremony included Izzy, along with Sarah Matthews, Area Manager from Pets at Home and Ada Wojtkowiak from the Hereford Pets at Home store.


Beyond a shiny new bath with grooming arm and non-slip steps, the refurbishment boasts a grooming table, a convenient pet hair dryer, non-slip, easy-clean flooring, shelves, hooks and storage along with drying mitts, towels and everything that a guide dog about town might need.


‘I’m thrilled with the refurbishment and would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who raised money through sponsored haircuts, to the Pets Foundation and to the RNC Estates Team who completed the refurbishment work,” said Izzy.


“A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to make my plans a reality. It’s turned out amazingly and Judy has already tried it out and is loving the new space for pampering.”


Pictured L-R: Phil Mayne, Site Operations Supervisor/Engineer; Dean West, Administration Assistant with guide dog Boris; Leanne Moore, Teacher of Assistive & Digital Technologies with guide dog Noah; Ada Wojtkowiak, Manager, Pets at Home Hereford; Sarah Matthews, Area Manager, Pets at Home; Izzy Theophanous, student with guide dog Judy; Sam Smith, student with guide dog Arnold; Phil Marshall, Building Maintenance Worker




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